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    Russian Economy General News: #12

    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB Sat Dec 04, 2021 11:41 pm

    It has taken me quite a few decades just to learn English and I am still learning... I am sure in Europe that learning a second or third language is just second nature, but New Zealand is very much not a multi language centre... Ironically those damn natives of ours could speak their local tongue (Maori) but also English and often French and the languages of other arrivals better than us superior white folk. My white ancestors still looked down on them and took every chance to steal their land and businesses.

    Learning Russian is something I have wanted to do, but my brain rebels... learning new languages is easier for some than for others.

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    Scorpius
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    Post  Scorpius Sun Dec 05, 2021 9:18 am

    miketheterrible wrote:
    par far wrote:
    miketheterrible wrote:If a growth bigger this year than economic decline last year, that is a sign of a prospering economy.

    I really want to know(I would love to know), how life is for ordinary people in Russia compared to Western Europe.

    Living in Canada, I can see it has gone downward and the same is true for US. I have relatives that live in the US and they say it has gotten bad.

    I live in Canada

    If Scorpion says he is below the median because of bad conditions that kind of threw him off, then I agree with KVS that he is actually in a far better position than most of us in the west.

    On paper, we make great money out here.  Issue is, cost of living conditions are very high.  My house cost me $350K and so our mortgage is for 25 years.  Now, we got our home when things were a bit lower so my home is now worth about $450K.  But I gotta still pay of course my mortgage.  Cant really sell my home cause every other home is now very expensive.  So combine, my wife and I make over $100,000 a year.  I would say closer to $120K a year.  BUT, mortgage eats up about half of our monthly income each.  Mix in with taxes which we pay about 25% in income tax.  Then our utilities are expensive.  I pay $200 for electricity per month cause of my servers.  But, they charge a distribution charge and other hidden fees (corruption as far as I am concerned) that makes my electric bill now double that, so I pay about $430 a month for electricity.  So it looks cheap at first ($0.066 per KW/h) but with hidden fees, it may as well be double that.

    Then, internet and home phone.  For a 500Mb/s, unlimited data internet connection and a home phone to call Canada and US wide unlimited with, 1200 mins international to countries like China, India and Pakistan, it is $100 a month.  I know in Russia people paying about $10 or so for better service.  My mobile is actually a lot better than most as I am on a business plan and I pay roughly about $40 a month for 12gb of data and unlimited text/call us and canada along with 1000mins of calling international per month.  I also got a new(ish) phone out of that too (Samsung Galaxy S20FE).  I know people in Russia that pay about $10 a month for same service or better.

    Now vehicles.  Cars on average are abysmal here in price.  Actually, Covid made the second hand market nearly impossible to deal with.

    Petrol prices is now at $1.44/L here where I am at.  I know its quite lower than most places here in Canada.  But its abysmal.  Want electric car? AHAHAHAHA.  You will get raped by distribution charges, electrical charges and just getting a plug in that wont take 8hrs to charge a vehicle will cost an arm and a leg.  Add to that, electric vehicles get half the distance here during winter.  Oh boy, just what I need...  Add to that, electric cars are fortune themselves.

    Food prices.  Now this is an elephant in the room no one wants to talk about here in Canada.  So our government still touts that inflation is only 2% blah blah blah.  But, most of our food that isn't Beef is imported for most part.  Iceberg lettus costs over $3 now.  It used to be $0.99 for every day thing a few years back.  Cucumber? $2 for a single one.  Bread? $3 average.  4L 3.25% milk? $5.25.  Meats on average jumped by about 20% in costs in last couple years.  Cheese is still expensive as ever and Butter, oh wow is Butter expensive.  $4.5 average per brick.  So you cannot go shopping for groceries without spending about $120 average a Week.

    At the end of the month, from just my job and wife collecting from hers, we barely have two pennies to rub together (well, they got rid of pennies now, so I guess Nickels). Thankfully, contrary to what some people here think about cryptocurrency, it is saving my ass.  Cryptocurrency mining and what not is giving me enough additional income to help cover all those other costs and allows me to have extra money in my pocket.

    If a Russian every bitches to me how bad their system is because their savings are rather low, I will punch them in their fucking face.  They should be thankful they can have a savings in the first place.  60% of Canadians dont have one or live paycheck to paycheck.  The amount of lying Canadians and Americans do to convince themselves they are better than most of the world financially, are criminals themselves imo.

    Okay, now I will say that if you work in the Moscow region, the average salary for a family of two people, where both husband and wife work, will be 120-140 thousand rubles per month. A house in the Moscow region that can be bought for an amount corresponding to the four-year income of such a family (I chose a distance of no more than 50 kilometers from the MKAD):
    https://balashikha.cian.ru/cat.php?currency=2&deal_type=sale&engine_version=2&maxmcad=50&maxprice=8000000&object_type%5B0%5D=1&offer_type=suburban&region=4593


    In the regions of Russia, a married couple will have an average income per month, probably at the level of 60-80 thousand rubles. Here's what they can buy with their four-year income:
    https://www.cian.ru/cat.php?currency=2&deal_type=sale&engine_version=2&maxprice=3000000&minprice=1000000&object_type%5B0%5D=1&offer_type=suburban&region=4713


    As for me... Well, I didn't say that I'm below the median at the moment. Over the past year, my income is higher than many. But the problem is that I have to catch up with the gap that was brought to my family by the nineties. You know, I met the two thousandth year as a thirteen-year-old teenager with zero prospects, living in a rural area where the nearest hospital was about twenty kilometers away, and there was no work at all. Now I live in the Moscow region, and my biggest financial problem is paying the mortgage for my apartment ahead of time.

    But many in Russia started from much higher positions than me. They had the help of their parents. They studied at prestigious educational institutions and received prestigious professions. As a result, a lot of people are now in a better position than me - although I earn more.
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    Russian Economy General News: #12 - Page 20 Empty Living In Russia

    Post  calripson Sun Dec 05, 2021 5:13 pm

    Many expats either can move to Russia with substantial assets compared to most Russians or can work remotely via the internet. Making $2,000-$3,000 a month remotely enables you to live quite comfortably outside Moscow or Saint Petersburg. If you want to live in the center of Moscow or Saint Petersburg, you better be making at least $5,000 a month. As for Russians, it really was the luck of the draw: If your parents had a free apartment in the center of Moscow post 1991 you hit the jackpot.

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    par far


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    Post  par far Mon Dec 06, 2021 4:25 pm

    Russian economy is discussed is at 1:09:20

    At 1:43:30, the Russian Grey economy is discussed, what is the Russian Grey economy?


    Scorpius
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    Post  Scorpius Tue Dec 07, 2021 8:12 am

    par far wrote:Russian economy is discussed is at 1:09:20

    At 1:43:30, the Russian Grey economy is discussed, what is the Russian Grey economy?


    I will assume that we are talking about the "shadow" economy. These are amounts of money that are withheld from taxation. According to some estimates, the volume of the "shadow" economy in Russia is 20-25% of GDP.

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    franco
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    Post  franco Tue Dec 07, 2021 9:55 am

    Scorpius wrote:
    par far wrote:Russian economy is discussed is at 1:09:20

    At 1:43:30, the Russian Grey economy is discussed, what is the Russian Grey economy?


    I will assume that we are talking about the "shadow" economy. These are amounts of money that are withheld from taxation. According to some estimates, the volume of the "shadow" economy in Russia is 20-25% of GDP.

    All countries would have a "shadow economy" to some degree.

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    Post  par far Tue Dec 07, 2021 11:54 am

    Scorpius wrote:
    par far wrote:Russian economy is discussed is at 1:09:20

    At 1:43:30, the Russian Grey economy is discussed, what is the Russian Grey economy?


    I will assume that we are talking about the "shadow" economy. These are amounts of money that are withheld from taxation. According to some estimates, the volume of the "shadow" economy in Russia is 20-25% of GDP.


    Why does the government not go after this?
    kvs
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    Post  kvs Tue Dec 07, 2021 12:43 pm

    Why should it spend massive resources in an attempt to get it down to zero? That is like the narcotics problem, it cannot be
    reduced to zero.

    I view the 25% estimate as exaggerated. I recall a figure of 30% back in the early 2000s. But the tax conformance has
    increased dramatically after 2000. So I see here games with definitions. Some genius is probably counting all of the
    offshore activity as "grey". Well, then, apply the same standard to western economies. This smells of the same
    BS as the "capital flight" trumpeted by the fake stream media (including Russian) which counts foreign debt repayment
    as "flight".

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    franco
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    Post  franco Tue Dec 07, 2021 1:42 pm

    I have seen estimates of 10-20% for Canada.

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    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB Wed Dec 08, 2021 12:54 am

    This is no surprise... often estimates of western GDP include black market stuff that is actually illegal but is included to boost figures... illegal drugs sales, prostitution, protection rackets etc etc... the sort of stuff government officials might want to legalise so they can start taxing that too...

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    Post  par far Wed Dec 08, 2021 10:45 am

    "Russia sells more chocolate than world-renowned exporter"

    https://www.rt.com/business/542539-russia-chocolate-exports-top-switzerland/

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    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB Wed Dec 08, 2021 8:26 pm

    Made even more impressive by this:

    For the first time ever, Russia has entered the top 10 of the world’s chocolate exporters, beating ​the famed Swiss chocolatiers in terms of value of products sold abroad, the Russian Association of Confectionary Producers said.

    So it is not more chocolate they are selling per say, but are earning more money... now I don't know for sure but I suspect Swiss chocolates are sold for more than Russian chocolates are sold for so I suspect the volume of actual chocolate is much higher...

    What they need is someone to organise sending it to other countries... locally Cadbury has upset a lot of people by closing down factories that were making good profits, because the US company that owns them thought they could make even more money closing them down and consolidating the work in fewer locations. Lots of people here lost their jobs and turned to other chocolate makers, but there are not a lot of alternatives here.

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    kvs
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    Post  kvs Wed Dec 08, 2021 9:19 pm

    GarryB wrote:Made even more impressive by this:

    For the first time ever, Russia has entered the top 10 of the world’s chocolate exporters, beating ​the famed Swiss chocolatiers in terms of value of products sold abroad, the Russian Association of Confectionary Producers said.

    So it is not more chocolate they are selling per say, but are earning more money... now I don't know for sure but I suspect Swiss chocolates are sold for more than Russian chocolates are sold for so I suspect the volume of actual chocolate is much higher...

    What they need is someone to organise sending it to other countries... locally Cadbury has upset a lot of people by closing down factories that were making good profits, because the US company that owns them thought they could make even more money closing them down and consolidating the work in fewer locations. Lots of people here lost their jobs and turned to other chocolate makers, but there are not a lot of alternatives here.

    Still rightsizing and downsizing after 30 years in a never ending quest to throw the western middle class into the toilet.
    Then these decider elites think they can dictate to the planet how to live. They should worry about lording over husks
    that used to be western countries. But power indeed corrupts the minds of the powerful. These powerful are not
    rotated into office like the whore politicians. This demonstrates that western "democracies" are the same old hierarchies
    that have been around for centuries.

    Here Russia with its hybrid electoral and substantially state owned corporate system is superior. I would rather have an elected
    government dictating what the corporate sector does than the other way around. People think that Russian oligarchs are all powerful.
    These people clearly do not understand that it is the west that has this model. The incident with Putin embarrassing Deripaska over a
    borrowed pen that the "oligarch" did not return was a historical highlight. No western politician would dare offend his real masters.

    In case someone thinks the above is hyperbole, consider the reaction to Covid-19. The profits of Pfizer and Moderna are sacrosanct
    and every western regime is licking their boots to a high shine. The insane reaction to the mild Omicron strain is a straight proof.
    We have corporate heads wailing about how the Omicron strain is basically the ultimate vaccine and cannot be allowed to substitute
    for their trash product. And we see the bootlick politicians brazenly lying and imposing lockdowns and vaxxing mandates together with
    boosters. The proper response is to let Omicron do natural vaccination. People who are afraid or at risk can get vaxxed and take
    their chances.

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    Kiko
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    Post  Kiko Thu Dec 09, 2021 8:27 pm

    How the budget of Russia got rich, by Olga Samofalova for VZGLYAD, 08.12.2021.

    In 2021, there was a sharp increase in federal budget revenues by as much as five trillion rubles. This is a unique indicator. Instead of a budget deficit, the country received a decent surplus. How did it happen that the Russian budget showed such profitability in the second year of the pandemic? Oil and gas are important, but not the only sources of revenue for the treasury.

    The year 2021 is marked by a sharp increase in federal budget revenues, although the pandemic continues to rage in the world. In nine months, they grew by about a third and amounted to 18 trillion rubles, Mikhail Mishustin said. The budget surplus amounted to about 1.6 trillion rubles. But initially, the budget law included a budget deficit of 2.75 trillion rubles.

    “A budget surplus of more than two trillion rubles was observed in Russia in the period 2006-2008 and in 2018-2019. Both of these periods were marked by high energy prices and high rates of export of raw materials abroad, ”says financial expert Svetlana Samoilova, co-founder of the Finliberty school of independent financial consultants.

    It is clear that the rise in oil and gas prices has played an important role in the current leap from deficit to surplus. If last year the average price for Urals crude oil barely reached $ 40 per barrel, then this year it was already $ 66.1 per barrel (for nine months), said Andrey Chernyavsky, a leading expert at the Center for Development Institute at the Higher School of Economics. This year's budget was made up based on the forecast price of Urals oil at $ 45.3 per barrel, and no one expected that in reality oil would rise to 70.

    An even greater surprise was gas prices, which not only rose, but reached unprecedented heights in history.

    However, Russia sells gas at prices fixed in contracts according to a certain formula, therefore Gazprom's prices are very different from those exchange-traded $ 1000-2000 per thousand cubic meters, which mainly appear in the news. But even in the contracts, the cost of gas went up. According to Gazprom, the price of gas for non-CIS countries increased by 87% this year. If last year its gas cost an average of $ 129 per thousand cubic meters, then in 2021 it is already $ 241 per thousand cubic meters (data are everywhere based on the results of nine months). In the fourth quarter, the cost of gas will grow even more.

    After the price factor, there is also an increase in production and supply volumes of both oil and gas. For oil, Russia was able to increase production and, accordingly, exports within the framework of OPEC + decisions to reduce quotas. Gas supplies abroad are also growing amid growing demand from China and Europe. This year Gazprom supplied 175.7 billion cubic meters of gas to non-CIS countries against 154.4 billion cubic meters last year (for three quarters).

    The third factor in the growth of budget revenues is, of course, the change in the exchange rate of the ruble against the dollar: if for three quarters of 2020 the average rate was 70.57 rubles per dollar, then this year it is 74 rubles.

    A weak ruble, coupled with expensive oil, is just a dream of the Ministry of Finance, and this year it came true. The ruble price of oil has reached a historic record above 5500 rubles per barrel. All this gave a good boost to the budget.

    “For the whole of 2021, the revenues of the Russian budget may grow by more than five trillion rubles compared to 2020. This is a unique absolute indicator. Although in relative terms, there have been years and better.

    For example, revenues in 2011 were 37% higher than revenues in 2010, and in 2021 the percentage growth will be less. The reason is the same as now: oil prices recovered after the crisis, while the ruble remained at a weaker level - an excellent combination of factors, ”says Vladimir Ananyev, an analyst at Exante.

    A significant difference from 2011 is that energy resources are making less and less contribution to budget revenues. “If before 2015 they occupied 40-50% of income, then after their share decreased to the current 30-40%. This is a noticeable progress in the Russian economy, they hardly talk about the oil and gas needle, although there is always something to work on, ”Ananyev notes.

    The following data vividly refutes the still lingering myth that the Russian budget earns solely on oil and gas.

    For ten months of 2021, oil and gas revenues increased by 68.5%, but non-oil and gas revenues also increased by 21.5%, according to preliminary data, notes Olga Belenkaya, head of the macroeconomic analysis department of FG Finam.

    The main driver of growth in non-oil and gas revenues is a third increase in VAT receipts from both the sale of Russian goods and imported imports. That is, Russians have clearly begun to spend more.

    First, consumption recovered after the “frozen” pandemic 2020 following the recovery growth of the economy (GDP this year may grow by 4.2%). Secondly, the deferred demand affected, which began to find a way out this year. Third, Russians were motivated to spend more this year by growing inflation, which is expected to exceed 6% this year. By the way, imports have also risen in price - by almost a third in three quarters of this year. Fourth, the weakening of the ruble helped.

    Other fees and taxes have also increased. In particular, the receipts of import duties increased by a third, and receipts from income tax increased by the same amount. For three quarters of this year, the companies increased their profits by 2.8 times less loss compared to last year, Belenkaya notes. Excise taxes also increased by 13.7%.

    The reasons for the increase in tax revenues from non-oil and gas companies are the same. For understanding: last year, there was a minus for all these five tax groups. That is, receipts from them in 2020 fell compared to 2019 during the crisis, when the economy fell, and consumption, and production, and imports, and the Russians, instead of spending, preferred to save for a rainy day.

    Of course, the rise in prices for other raw materials helped the budget revenues. “This year there has been a significant increase in prices for agricultural products (by 30-35% on average), fertilizers (plus 25%), metals (by 50% on average), fuel (diesel, aviation kerosene), etc. . ", - notes Samoilova.

    From one-time budget revenues, Belenkaya notes 200 billion rubles as the final tranche on the government's purchase of a controlling stake in Sberbank from the Central Bank and 146 billion rubles in the form of a fine from Norilsk Nickel.

    Experts' forecasts for next year are optimistically cautious. In the new law on the budget for 2022-2024, which was signed by the president the day before, revenue expectations have also increased significantly. According to it, in the next two years, a surplus of the federal budget of Russia of 1.33 trillion rubles (1% of GDP) in 2022 and 300 billion rubles (0.2% of GDP) in 2023 is expected, but in 2024 the budget will again become deficit in the amount of 520 billion rubles (0.3% of GDP).

    “The new year 2022 depends on the situation in the markets, and the markets on the overall progress in the fight against coronavirus. If the omicron does not entail massive lockdowns around the world, and moderately optimistic data on this strain have already emerged, then oil will remain at elevated levels and moderately rise. That would be good for the budget. There are no reasons for the collapse of the energy market yet, ”says Vladimir Ananyev.

    However, in 2022, some correction and normalization of gas prices in Europe is more than likely closer to spring. However, prices as a whole will not decline to levels of previous years. Most likely, a new reality awaits us, where prices for raw materials and main export goods will be higher than in previous cycles, including due to inflation, already the highest in more than twenty years, as well as due to the inclusion of an environmental component in production costs ... The current geopolitical and sanctions risks only increase the likelihood of price imbalances occurring, ”concludes Dmitry Skryabin, portfolio manager of Alfa Capital.

    https://m.vz.ru/economy/2021/12/8/1133197.html

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    Post  Kiko Sun Dec 12, 2021 8:35 am

    Chocolate covered: why the Chinese and Americans are buying up Russian sweets, 12.12.2021.

    MOSCOW, December 12 - RIA Novosti, Irina Badmaeva. Russia overtook Switzerland in chocolate supplies and entered the top ten market leaders. The lion's share of exports goes to China. Asians appreciated the high quality of confectionery products made in Russia. High demand in the Middle East. On the sweet prospects of international trade - in the material RIA Novosti.

    Sweet to the world

    Last year's export figures were 295.7 thousand tons for 729.2 million dollars. This year, supplies have increased sharply, according to the Association of Confectionery Industry Enterprises (ASKOND).

    For eight months - 838.5 million dollars. Switzerland has 819.

    Russia is now in tenth place in the ranking of chocolate suppliers. On the first - Germany, on the second - Belgium, on the third - Italy.
    Exports have been growing for five years in a row. Domestic products are delivered to 92 countries. Most of all we ship to China and the Customs Union - 57 percent.

    In China, Russian confectionery is valued for its naturalness. Not surprisingly, everyone has heard horror stories about fake chicken eggs in Asia. And the price is attractive.

    China is a very promising sales market. You just need to competently and creatively promote the product. Including on the Internet. For example, thanks to one video with a popular local blogger, it was possible to sell chocolate products worth several hundred million rubles.

    Deliveries are also increasing due to new destinations - Serbia, Brazil, Nigeria and the Middle East. The weakening of the ruble has increased competitiveness: last year, the national currency lost about 25 percent against the dollar and the euro.

    "The chocolate business is booming. Exports have increased, despite the coronavirus crisis. And European companies have problems," said Karen Nalbandyan, General Director of Glavtorg LLC.

    Foreign consumers have also tasted domestic marshmallows and marshmallows. In the countries of Southeast Asia, waffles are gaining popularity.

    Russian sweets were also appreciated overseas. In the first quarter of 2021, Americans bought Russian ice cream for $ 4.7 million - almost two thousand tons, according to the federal center "Agroexport" of the Ministry of Agriculture.
    Of course, for the United States, this is a drop in the ocean. There, this market is $ 20 billion a year. Nevertheless, it is expected that the demand for the Russian product will grow by tens of percent.

    The waffle cone sundae is especially popular in southern states such as Florida, California. Moreover, it can be bought in a glass, and not in a whole bucket, as is customary in the United States. Plus, the Russian dessert isn't as lusciously sweet as it usually is in America, which is a big plus.

    Although for the consumer, this is far from a cheap purchase. If a liter of American ice cream of average quality costs about six dollars, then for a small "Russian glass" you will have to pay from three and a half to four.

    In the first quarter, the Chinese bought $ 2.6 million worth of ice cream in Russia, this is the second result. The third and fourth are in Mongolia and Ukraine. Total exports increased by 61 percent to 14 million.

    In five years, this figure has doubled, from 13 to 25 thousand tons per year. In 2020, Russia entered the top twenty largest suppliers with a share of 1.2 percent.

    Chocolate in favour

    Last year, domestic producers produced 3.85 million tons of confectionery. By the end of 2021, four million are expected.
    Domestic consumption has been growing steadily for ten years, an average of one to three percent per year. Competition between enterprises is also intensifying. Quality and taste come to the fore.

    However, in Russia they buy less desserts than in developed countries - on average 25.2 kilograms per person per year. In the UK - 27, in Germany - 34.

    Our favorite sweet is slab chocolate. Every third person prefers it. On the second place - cakes, then - pastries and sweets.

    About 40 percent of Russians spend up to 1,000 rubles a month on sweets, according to the Synergy University analytical center. A third - up to two.

    Analysts warn that sweet tooth will have to fork out in 2022.
    The fact is that cocoa beans and cocoa butter have risen in price by ten percent. Palm oil, which is added to chocolate, also doubled in price.

    There are no such ingredients in Russia. Domestic producers are purchased from Malaysia, Cote d'Ivoire, Indonesia. As supply chains have been hit by the pandemic, shipping costs are increasing. The equipment, mostly foreign, is also expensive.

    According to pessimistic forecasts, prices for chocolate, as well as for products containing it, will add 25 percent on average.

    However, it is not excluded that the rise in prices will be avoided if the overall inflation declines and remains in the range of four and a half to seven percent.
    However, you shouldn't deny yourself a sweet tooth. Just thirty grams of dark chocolate a day will make you happier. This is the conclusion reached by scientists at Seoul National University.
    "But you need to carefully look at the composition. Chocolate with a high content of cocoa beans is useful - at least 70-75 percent. There magnesium and potassium, which are necessary for the nervous system. Toning caffeine and theobromine, they give energy," explains nutritionist Tatyana Epifanova.

    As noted in many studies, regular consumption of high-quality dark chocolate helps the cardiovascular system, lowers cholesterol, and normalizes fat metabolism. And, of course, it improves your mood.

    https://ria.ru/20211212/shokolad-1763126242.html

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    Post  Rasisuki Nebia Sun Dec 12, 2021 8:51 am

    Honestly when i was in Israel/Palestine i saw a shop that sold Russian made chocolate products i had to go in and get some and i was pleasantly surprised that it tasted better than the mainstream brands I'm used to buying, shame i never got to buy more cry

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    Post  kvs Sun Dec 12, 2021 9:35 am

    Rasisuki Nebia wrote:Honestly when i was in Israel/Palestine i saw a shop that sold Russian made chocolate products i had to go in and get some and i was pleasantly surprised that it tasted better than the mainstream brands I'm used to buying, shame i never got to buy more cry

    Russia has higher food quality standards in spite of sniping over "fake cheese made with palm oil" etc. The chocolate is more than likely
    better because it is made without mercenary profiteering in mind. So, real ingredients and no additional crap. Common milk chocolate
    quality has dropped over the last 40 years in the west. This would make sense if they replaced the cocoa butter with industrial seed oils
    and added more sugar. The 1970s low saturated fat legislative hysteria has degraded processed food. The only chocolate worth buying
    is the expensive stuff with over 70% content.

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    Post  Autodestruct Mon Dec 13, 2021 1:33 pm

    The only chocolate worth buying is the expensive stuff with over 70% content.

    That's the only kind with any nutritional value anyhow. It's actually a health food once you get it to ~85-90%.

    The rest just rots your teeth and makes you fat. Like softdrinks, except it doesn't work as fast...

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    Post  Kiko Wed Dec 15, 2021 7:40 pm

    Will Russia have enough electricity for all its neighbors?, by Olga Samofalova for VZGLYAD, 15.12.2021.

    For the first time in a long time, Kazakhstan decided to purchase electricity from Russia. This year there are a lot of such people: the export of domestic electricity has doubled. Buying it from Russia is often more profitable than turning on its own gas station. However, Kazakhstan stands apart in this regard. Why did Nur-Sultan ask for help?

    For the first time in a long time, Kazakhstan has turned to Russia with a request for commercial electricity supplies, said Boris Kovalchuk, chairman of the board of Inter RAO (operator of electricity export and import). According to him, this happened against the background of "problems at generation facilities, unscheduled repairs, as well as the growth of mining farms."

    In an ideal scenario, Kazakhstan would like to receive 600 MW of electricity. Difficulties in the energy market in the country arose this fall, and the day before, on December 13, Kairat Rakhimov, who was appointed literally in February of this year, was dismissed from the post of vice minister of energy of the republic.

    In Kazakhstan, they predicted a shortage of electricity, but not so quickly - but only by 2030, for which they began to study the possibility of building a nuclear power plant in the country. However, the problem arose a decade earlier, and the nuclear power plant cannot be built so quickly. Who is to blame and what to do?

    One side of the problem is the growth in demand. In January - October 2021, energy consumption in the republic increased by 8%, while in previous years its growth was only 1–2% per year.

    Local authorities believe that (crypto) miners are to blame, who began to massively move to Kazakhstan from China, where they banned the sale of cryptocurrencies for the development of the digital yuan.

    The reason is simple: there is relatively cheap electricity, which is needed a lot for this type of activity.

    As a result, Kazakhstan began to occupy the second place in the world (18.1%) in the production of the most popular cryptocurrency - bitcoin. The first place in the rating belongs to the United States (35.4%), and Russia closes the top three (11.23%), according to the rating of the Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance.

    The energy system of Kazakhstan, as you can see, was not ready for such a massive influx of miners. In the eastern part of Kazakhstan, rolling blackouts during peak hours began in November, and power was cut off in other regions as well. This year the problem of rolling blackouts has become urgent for many countries.

    “We have not seen such a situation in the power industry, when the schedules of rolling blackouts are taken out of the cabinets, in the entire post-Soviet space for 20 years, and globally, I think, since the end of World War II. But in this regard, Kazakhstan stands a bit apart, "says Sergei Kondratyev, deputy head of the economic department of the Institute for Energy and Finance Foundation.

    First, Kazakhstan traditionally had difficulties with energy supply, because the northern regions of the country had the opportunity to import electricity from Siberia and the Urals, but were not connected with the energy system of the southern region, including Alma-Ata. Since Soviet times, the southern regions have been connected to the general unified energy system of Central Asia and could ask for help from their neighbors. “But at some point the neighbors - Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan - also found themselves in a difficult situation. Therefore, the south of Kazakhstan is constantly in a difficult situation. The North-South transmission line was built, but questions remained", the source said.

    Secondly, in the last decade, no new large thermal generation capacities have been built in Kazakhstan, and insufficient attention has been paid to the reconstruction of existing capacities. “At the Kazakh state district power plants, for example, at the Ermakovskaya state district power station, there is equipment that is formally listed as serviceable, but in fact it is rather difficult to use. I think that this could have played a role in the impossibility of increasing the production of electricity, ”says Kondratyev.

    In addition, Kazakhstan this year faced the same problem as Russia - namely, the low water content of rivers, which led to a drop in electricity generation at hydroelectric power stations.

    All this ultimately led to the fact that the energy system of Kazakhstan could not cope with the increased demand. At the same time, it is hardly worth blaming only mining farms for the growth in demand. “I don’t think that mining farms could destabilize the energy system of Kazakhstan so much. I think that demand has also grown due to the growth of the basic sectors of the Kazakhstani economy, which are energy-intensive, ”Kondratyev said. So, as part of the weakening of quotas by OPEC + members, Kazakhstan was able to increase oil production, production in non-ferrous metallurgy and the chemical industry is increasing, because raw materials are growing in price, and you can earn good money on their exports. “Perhaps mining farms have simply become the last straw for the country's energy system. The fact of the dismissal of the Deputy Minister for Energy also indicates that, in the opinion of the Kazakh authorities.

    Another reason for the resumption of imports of Russian electricity may be that it turns out to be cheaper than launching existing power units in the country, due to high fuel consumption and high operating costs, adds Kondratyev.

    In fact, these factors explain why this year many countries unexpectedly began to buy electricity from Russia or significantly increase its exports. This year Inter RAO Group exports twice as much electricity as a year ago - 21.5 billion kWh. And the profitability of exports will grow fourfold.

    Our electricity is bought by the Baltic countries, Mongolia, China and others. Georgia returned to this market, and electricity supplies to Armenia and Turkey began. Finland will increase its exports from Russia this year to a record level of 2010.

    “For example, the Baltic countries have greatly increased the import of electricity from Russia and Belarus. Although they could increase its production at their own gas power plants, at current gas prices it is so expensive that it is better to buy ready-made electricity from Russia", explains the industry expert.

    True, the Kazakh case is unusual, because Kazakhstan is closer to Russia in terms of regulating prices for electricity and fuel. “This means that Russia may also have problems with clandestine mining of cryptocurrencies because of cheap electricity, which the governor of the Irkutsk region complained about,” Kondratyev does not rule out.

    This year, in the Irkutsk region, electricity consumption by the population will grow by as much as 159%, while usually the growth is a few percent. It is clear that Russia, and especially Eastern Siberia, is extremely attractive for mining farms due to cheap tariffs for the population. And in some regions of Russia it is “possible” not to pay for electricity at all.

    The problem is that in Russia there is a system of cross-subsidization, when the population pays for electricity at low tariffs, and, in fact, industrial consumers pay for it, for whom higher tariffs are set. Mining farms can "break" this system in the region, when the industry cannot cover the population's expenses for electricity. Such problems are solved with the help of law enforcement agencies, because power engineers have the ability to calculate abnormal jumps in demand among the population.

    There is no need to be afraid that, due to the growth of exports, Russia itself will find itself in the trap of an energy deficit. Because, unlike the European Union, Russia has serious reserve capacities that can quickly start generating electricity at extremely high demand.

    “We have a high reserve ratio in the market structure. The peak load in recent years has been at the level of 150-160 gigawatts, and we still have an additional 30-40 gigawatts of capacity in reserve that can be launched. And although we are talking about the export of billions of kilowatt-hours, on the scale of the Russian energy system, this is not very much. We usually export about 2% of our domestic consumption, and even this year it will be slightly more than 3%, ”explains Kondratyev.

    Therefore, Russia has become not only a Mecca for miners, but also a serious help for its neighbors from all sides in the context of extremely high world prices for raw materials.

    Even Ukraine receives Russian electricity. Just not directly, but, as in the situation with reverse gas and coal, through an intermediary - Belarus. Because it is politically difficult for Ukrainian politicians to have such ties with Russia. But Belarus is not enough for everyone.

    “Ukraine at peak times last week bought 900 megawatts of electricity from Belarus. But we understand that, in fact, some of this electricity came from Russia. Because the capabilities of the Belarusian nuclear power plant are also not unlimited: 900 megawatts is practically all the capacity that the Belarusian nuclear power plant produces. At the same time, Belarus is still a fairly large exporter of electricity to the Baltic states", the source said.

    https://m.vz.ru/economy/2021/12/15/1134181.html

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    Post  Hole Thu Dec 16, 2021 7:46 am

    But they still claim that they´re independent states.
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    Post  ALAMO Thu Dec 16, 2021 10:05 am

    Hole wrote:But they still claim that they´re independent states.

    Dude, all the Pribaltic tigers will be EVENTUALLY connected to the electrical grid other than Russian MAYBE this year, finally.
    Took them 30 years only. Laughing
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    Post  Kiko Thu Dec 16, 2021 3:47 pm

    Money is everywhere, gentlemen: the economy is recovering from the crisis, by Sofia Smirnova for Izvestia. 16.12.2021.

    Almost two-thirds of Russian companies are going to pay employees more.

    About 60% of Russian companies plan to increase salaries for their employees in 2022, according to data from the recruiting company Hays. Experts believe that this could have been influenced by economic growth, changes in the labor market, the outflow of migrants, inflation, new large infrastructure projects and the financial ability of large companies to raise salaries for workers. Details - in the material "Izvestia".

    Economy and emerging industries

    Approximately 56% of surveyed companies in Russia and the CIS countries increased their employee income in 2021. This is more than in 2020 (48%), but still less than in 2019 (74%). More than a third (37%) of employers have kept their employees' earnings at the level of 2020, according to a study by Hays.

    The economy has recovered from the disastrous failure of 2020. This is partly due to infrastructure projects of the state, and partly to high prices for energy resources, says Andrey Vernikov, head of the investment analysis and training department at Univer Capital.

    “ We need working hands. There were difficulties associated with crossing the border by labor migrants, especially in the field of housing and communal services , in the field of construction. To replace migrants, employers are raising wages and will continue to raise them. Giving any predictions about the sphere of amusement is a thankless job. The economy is based on raw materials, and the situation in one direction or another can swing very quickly. In the long term, a green energy transition is inevitable, just as the development of the IT and telecommunications sector is inevitable. And specialists working in these areas can be sure not only of the indexation of salaries, but also of their increase, ”says Andrei Vernikov.

    The economy is still recovering from the 2020 crisis. This process was quite active in 2021, but it has not yet covered all industries , according to Anna Lukyanova, Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Labor Studies at the Higher School of Economics.

    In her opinion, growth will continue in 2022, but it will be a recovery growth.

    “We face other challenges that affect a number of industries. The number of migrants is now much less than it was in the "pre-dock" years, and in a number of industries this has a significant effect. For example, in construction or housing and communal services, ”says Anna Lukyanova.

    The demographic factor also plays a significant role, Anna Lukyanova emphasized. “ On the one hand, the number of young people has halved compared to 10-15 years ago. Fewer young people graduating from educational institutions enter the labor market. The next cohort, 25–30 years old, is smaller in number than it was 10 years ago. On the other hand, the demographic pressure on employment is exerted by older people. Those who were born in the post-war years leave the labor market , ”said the expert.

    Labour market

    According to Lukyanova, every year our economy loses half a million workers due to the demographic factor . “These losses began in 2010. Quite a long time ago. Now we are even beginning to pass the peak of losses. If earlier we allowed ourselves not to notice this, now employers are talking about the shortage of personnel more and more often. This factor, of course, also pulls up salaries, "- said an expert from the Higher School of Economics.

    Olga Belenkaya, head of the macroeconomic analysis department of FG Finam, agrees with her. " The growth in wages is associated with the rapid recovery of the labor market in Russia - so, according to Rosstat, unemployment fell from a peak of 6.4% in August 2020 to 4.3% in October 2021, this is close to a historic low, " she said. ...

    A number of sectors - for example, construction, retail, agriculture, hotels and restaurants - experienced a shortage of workers this year, including due to the closed borders after the start of the pandemic and the reduction in labor migration, Olga Belenkaya said.

    According to her, after the pandemic, the development of information technologies accelerated, where there is also a shortage of qualified specialists. Online trade with a demand for drivers, couriers, warehouse workers "shot up". A strong labor market increases the competition between companies for personnel and strengthens the bargaining power of employees on salaries , says Olga Belenkaya.

    The role of inflation

    She also noted a record inflation since 2016 in Russia - at the end of November, 8.4%. Therefore, even with high rates of growth in nominal wages (according to the latest data, in September it amounted to 9.6% yoy), in real terms the average accrued wages are growing much more slowly. “This is also taken into account by employers. In addition, the financial position of the business as a whole improved significantly in 2021 due to the recovery of domestic demand and a very favorable situation in world markets - according to Rosstat, the balanced financial result of non-financial companies for the nine months of 2021 is 2.8 times higher than the same period last year ” , - Olga Belenkaya summed up.

    Anna Lukyanova also believes that inflation is one of the important factors. “This is completely natural. Inflation has peaked in the last ten years and prices are rising by about 8% per year. Most companies, at least large ones, have documents that regulate the indexation of wages. This factor significantly affects the growth of wages and explains the willingness of employers to raise them, ”she stressed.

    What does remote control give

    Employers are raising wages for a reason, but in order to avoid the outflow of employees, said Andrei Vernikov.

    He recalled that in 2020, many organizations switched to remote work and, in this regard, new software solutions were needed.

    “There was a staff shortage for IT sector specialists and programmers. As a result, employers began to compete for specialists, and the latter dictate conditions to them. This year there is a shortage of personnel in construction. The volume of housing commissioned has grown sharply, including thanks to the program for the reconstruction of dilapidated housing . Therefore, wages in construction have increased. In practice, in order to commission a facility, the employer raises wages, and there is a flow of labor from small construction companies. As a rule, large companies have the opportunity to raise their salaries , ”said Andrei Vernikov.

    https://iz.ru/1264271/sofia-smirnova/vsiudu-dengi-gospoda-ekonomika-vosstanavlivaetsia-posle-krizisa

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    Post  flamming_python Thu Dec 16, 2021 5:24 pm

    ALAMO wrote:
    Hole wrote:But they still claim that they´re independent states.

    Dude, all the Pribaltic tigers will be EVENTUALLY connected to the electrical grid other than Russian MAYBE this year, finally.
    Took them 30 years only. Laughing

    Latvians and Estonians won't go for that. Lithuanians might.

    But they all know that Russian energy is a hell of a lot cheaper than the EU's "green energy". Money talks.

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    Post  ALAMO Fri Dec 17, 2021 3:15 am

    It is not a question will they buy it or not, but a physical connection to the western grid. Non-existent.
    They have some connections with Poland - a PolLit link since 2015 and Finland Estlink since 2006, but too low capacity, and non-synchronized.
    The whole system operates as unified with RU/BEL, and Kaliningrad is an end user.
    Only in 2018, finally, the EU made a roadmap for offshore cable, and needed infrastructure, in the hope to connect them finally to the EU system BY 2025 Laughing 34 years after dissolution from the "occupier commies" Laughing Laughing Laughing
    That will create a sort of trouble for Russia, as they will be able to disconnect the Kaliningrad easily.
    So I believe we will see just another offshore cable, but the Russian one this time, to the enclave.

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    Post  miketheterrible Fri Dec 17, 2021 3:20 am

    The Russians seriously need to divert Nordstream 2 to Kaliningrad for this purpose.

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