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Overview of the freight rail transportation market (September 2015) According to JSC "Russian Railways", the volume of loading on the network in September 2015 amounted to 103.5 million tons, which is 1.2% less than in the same period last year. The main trends of the domestic economy related to the decline in world energy prices and, accordingly, the volume of revenue from their sale, the reduction in industrial production, inflationary processes, remained in September. Low-yield cargo

In September 2015, the loading of coal amounted to 26.9 million tons, which is 1.1% less than in the same period of 2014. Rail transportation in export and import directions to/from ports in January – September 2015 increased by 2% compared to the same period in 2014, to 100.06 million tons. Export rail transportation, according to the Russian Railways GVC, amounted to 100.02 million tons (+2%), import – 37.08 thousand tons (+15.5%).

The volume of export traffic on the network in the direction of the Vostochny port for 9 months of 2015 amounted to 22.48 million tons, which is 10.7% more than in January – September 2014. 16.14 million tons (-2.3%) were delivered to the port of Vanino, Ust-Luga – 13.44 million tons (+8.1%), Riga (Latvia) – 10.98 million tons (-2.9%). To the port of Izmail (Ukraine), the export railway transportation of coal amounted to 613.97 thousand tons (+92.4%), Odessa (Ukraine) – 373.61 thousand tons (an increase from 42.74 thousand tons). The share of coal transportation to Vostochny port is 22.5%, Vanino – 16.1%, Ust-Luga – 13.4% of the total volume of export railway transportation of coal to ports.

The Russian coal markets are still the countries of the Asia-Pacific region, as well as some European countries, which, due to the cheapness of coal generation, refuse to develop renewable energy. For example, Japan, which accounts for about a quarter of Russian coal exports, intends to continue to cooperate with Russia. So, in early September, Mechel and one of the largest Asian steel companies Japan Future Enterprise Steel (JFE Steel) signed a contract for the supply of coal until August 2018. Experts believe that Japan is the most promising consumer of coal in the world, taking into account the program of replacing nuclear power plants with coal. The share of coal-fired power generation in Japan is now about 25%, while in some countries it exceeds 70%.

During September 2015, 13.5 million tons of construction cargo were loaded onto the Russian Railways network, which is 3.8% more than in September 2014. Unfortunately, the long-awaited growth in this segment is due to the effect of a low base. According to industry experts, the volume of loading of crushed stone could be higher, since by now the industrial capacities of the largest manufacturers of crushed stone exceed the export of products. According to Andrey Gromov, the head of the OPORA Russia Railway transport Commission, due to existing restrictions on the transportation of crushed stone in September 2015, the final consumer could not receive about 50% of the possible volumes.

"Enterprises are forced to work at half capacity," he said. – At the same time, manufacturers want to step up their presence in the market due to the introduction of licensing of imports of crushed stone and gravel from non-member states of the Eurasian Economic Union. However, this is hindered by the lack of gondola cars." Market participants also noted an increase in the cost of the carriage component during the transportation of crushed stone. Sergey Kolesnikov, First Deputy General Director of the CFTO, confirmed that today there are about 15 thousand gondola cars missing on the crushed stone market. "As of September, we received orders for 300 thousand. car shipments, but we were actually able to coordinate 200 thousand of them," he said.

Cement transportation on the network, unlike construction trucks, continued to fall. 2.9 million tons were shipped in September, which is 9.4% less than in September 2014. According to specialists of JSC "Siberian Cement Holding Company", one of the reasons for the decrease in the capacity of the cement market is the reduction in the volume of housing commissioning. "In the regions, there is a significant decrease in the number of new facilities and a drop in prices for ready-made apartments due to an excess of offers in the segment of economy–class housing," the company's representatives explain. In particular, according to Sibtsem, in the major cities of Siberia – Novosibirsk, Tomsk, Irkutsk – in August of this year, in relation to July, a number of major developers reduced prices by 3-5%. In September, 4 million tons of chemical and mineral fertilizers were loaded on the Russian Railways network, which is 5.3% more than in the same period last year.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, from January 1 to September 15, 2015, farmers in Russia purchased 2 million tons of mineral fertilizers - 2% more than in the same period last year. Taking into account the accumulated resources, this is 2.23 million tons of fertilizers. So far, the average level of purchases is more than 600 thousand tons of mineral fertilizers per quarter, and we can say that fertilizer producers fulfill their obligations to meet the declared needs of farmers for raw materials. In September, the supply of fertilizers abroad also grew. In particular, the increase in supplies to Ukraine was due to the shutdown of two of the largest enterprises of the Ukrainian chemical industry – Styrol and the Severodonetsk association Azot, as a result of which Ukrainian agricultural producers lacked about a third of ammonium nitrate. Experts expect further growth of export cargo traffic due to favorable conditions for Russian mineral fertilizers on the world market. The volume of domestic traffic will remain at the current level due to frozen prices.

New deposits are also being developed. For example, EuroChem carried out the first shipment of phosphorite raw materials from a deposit in Kazakhstan in September – 11 thousand tons were shipped to EuroChem – Belorechenskiye Mineral Fertilizers. In total, by the end of 2015, according to the press service of EuroChem Group AG, the company expects to send more than 50 thousand tons of phosphorite raw materials from the field in Kazakhstan to its own enterprises in Russia and Belgium. Loading in the timber cargo segment continued to grow in September – 3.1 million tons were loaded on the railway (+3.3% by September 2014). Representatives of the mining and processing enterprises of the industry explained that export shipments could have been higher, but they are constrained by the general instability of the economy in the forest–consuming countries, in particular in Finland.

In September, 1.9 million tons of grain were loaded onto the network. This is 5% less than a year earlier. At the same time, according to the forecast of the Ministry of Agriculture, the gross grain harvest in Russia this year may amount to 102.9 million tons (105.3 million tons were collected last year). The high harvest and the devaluation of the ruble led to the fact that the export price of domestic wheat fell to a five-year low. The attractiveness of the Russian offer has significantly increased the competitiveness of domestic suppliers in the global market. So, in September 2015, the Egyptian state buyer General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) purchased 170 thousand tons of Russian grain at $178.6–178.8 per 1 ton. Recall that the duty imposed for a period of one year on wheat exports from Russia began to take effect on July 1, 2015 – for the first time in the history of grain exports from the Russian Federation. The reason was the growing activity of exporters, who increased the sale of grain in foreign markets for foreign currency and thus sought to benefit from the sharp fall of the ruble. The Ministry of Agriculture of Russia has prepared and sent to the government proposals to change the existing procedure for calculating export duties on wheat. The need to adjust duties was explained by the inability of grain producers to compensate for the increase in prices for fuels and lubricants, mineral fertilizers and wages due to sales to exporters at current world prices, even taking into account the last round of depreciation of the ruble. Since October 1, 2015, the export duty for some types of wheat has been reset.

According to Rusagrotrans experts, from now on traders are unlikely to look for loopholes not to pay: the current exchange rate of the ruble allows you to export grain at a minimum rate. The government has revised the formula for calculating the export duty on wheat. Since October 1 , the permanent part in the formula has increased from 5,500 to 6,500 rubles per 1 ton and the minimum amount of the duty itself has decreased from 50 to 10 rubles per 1 ton . In addition, the duty on seeds and some types of wheat, such as spelt, meslin and soft wheat, was reset. High-yield cargo In September 2015, the loading of oil and petroleum products on the network amounted to 19.5 million tons, which is 4.4% lower than a year earlier. Recall that back in August, experts predicted a decrease in loading relative to last year's level due to the effect of the high base of September 2014. In addition, in August 2015, China experienced the largest devaluation of the yuan in the last 20 years. Experts considered that the depreciation of the national currency of the People's Republic of China will contribute to reducing demand in the country for a number of raw materials, including oil, coal, ferrous metals, etc. It is obvious that at the moment the structure of oil and petroleum products transportation is changing, which is largely due to increased competition from alternative modes of transport – pipeline, inland waterway and automobile. Alexander Slobodyanik, a leading expert analyst at the Freight Transportation Research Department of the Institute of Problems of Natural Monopolies (IPEM), gives an example of the Khabarovsk Oil Refinery.

The company began to use inland water transport to transport its products to the port of Vanino, despite the increased length of the route (several times) and the presence of shallow water, which is why small displacement vessels are mainly used. "The transition of goods to water transport could happen in large volumes. However, in 2015, there was an abnormal lack of water in the Upper Volga reservoirs and the Volga-Don Waterway," explains A. Slobodyanik.