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Forest in exchange for investment

In the Far East, new mechanisms for supporting the forestry sector are being applied. The key expectation is the growth of export of processed wood

Forest in exchange for investment
Photo: shutterstock
About forest reserves in the Russian Far East, it is pleasant to speak in comparative terms. For example, if you look at the area - then one Far East now has 46,5 ha of forest. For comparison, in China per person - only 0,07 ha, and in Japan - 0,2 ha. According to some estimates, forest resources in the Far East and Siberia account for 51% of all reserves in the countries of the Asia-Pacific region. According to WWF, this is 11,1 billion cubic meters. M of wood. According to the statistics of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, more than 25% of Russia's timber reserves are concentrated in the Far Eastern Federal District, but the degree of development of the forest fund is low - less than 18%.

Obviously, the local market (and there are 6,2 million people living in the Far Eastern Federal District) is completely inadequate to the industry's opportunities. The potential for export development is huge: already now, wood and products from it occupy the third place in the structure of exports of the Far East (in value terms). They account for about 11% of exports, while fish, crustaceans and molluscs are 24%, and 45% are mineral fuels and products of its processing.

In total, according to customs statistics, in 2015, timber exports from the DFO territory amounted to 847,63 million dollars in monetary terms (2014 year-1,03 billion dollars). In many ways, the decline was due to the dynamics of prices for Russian timber. According to the analytical portal "Les Online", the average export price for round timber in Russia at the end of 2015 amounted to 68,9 dollars per cubic meter. M, while in 2014 and 2013 - about 85,07 dollars per cubic meter. M.

Out of this volume, the export of raw timber amounted to 6 million cubic meters. M (the value of 484,5 million dollars). Unprocessed timber is exported mainly to China (95% of the total volume of exported unprocessed forest), to the Republic of Korea it is 2,5%, to Japan - 2,1% of the volume of exported unprocessed forest.

Exports of processed timber in 2015 by volume increased by more than 9% and amounted to 1,7 million cubic meters. (265%), the Republic of Korea (85%) and Japan (9,5%), are also exported.


An interesting fact: more than 4 million tonnes of forest products (half of total exports) was exported to the PRC by rail through one border crossing. This Grodekovo - Suifenhe in Primorye. At the same time, the forest accounted for 55,6% of all export cargoes exported through international border crossings.

Market near
Speaking about the macroeconomic conditions for the development of the forestry sector of the Far East, in addition to a substantial resource, it is necessary to emphasize the proximity of large foreign consumption centers. The main forest producers are concentrated in Khabarovsk Krai and Primorye. Both regions have a land border with the largest consumer - China; Both have access to the sea and all the necessary port infrastructure for shipping products by sea. To understand the local distances: the ship comes from Vladivostok to the ports of South Korea for 2-3 days, Japan - 3-4 days. Carry a forest from Primorye to Japan in 2-2,5 times closer than from Karelia, for example, to Germany.

This benefit fully manifested itself in the 90-x. Almost uncontrolled development of the industry led to an export boom - with 1995 for 2007, the amount of exported wood increased more than 4 times, reaching a peak of 17,5 million cubic meters. M per year, of which 17,2 million cubic meters. M - raw products, round timber. The main buyer was China - Russian raw materials went to factories for the production of furniture, parquet and other products. In fact, China became a monopolist in the purchase of the Far Eastern Russian forest, while in China itself, timber imports from the Far East occupied only 10% of total forest imports, less than imports from New Zealand, the United States and Canada.

Fatal for export was 2008, when several events collided at once. On the one hand, Russia began to increase the export duty on untreated timber. On the other hand, the financial crisis of 2008 hit the purchasing power in those markets where Chinese products made from Russian timber were sent. Export fell by half - to 8 million cubic meters. M - and from that moment until the current year showed no significant leaps in volume terms.

At the same time, the history of the last eight years of the industry development was characterized by a gradual change in the structure of timber exports. The processing began to grow - a whole wave of investments in manufacturing industries worked. More clearly began to be designated foreign players interested in systemic business development. However, assessments by both experts and officials sound the same: resources are underemployed, export potential is not disclosed, the industry is almost stagnating.

Today, the forest industry is one of the spheres of the economy recognized by the government as priority for development in the Far East - along with the fishing industry, agriculture, oil and gas and mining. Priority is expressed in the targeted use of new support measures created by the government in the Far East, as well as in the search for specific mechanisms that can give a significant impetus to business.

What kind of forest without benefits?
One of the evidences of a new stage in the development of the timber industry complex of the Far East is the activity with which the key players of the industry reacted to the state support measures being created in the region. By now, the timber industry enterprises have already emerged in all the mechanisms for the development of the macroregion created by the Ministry for the Development of the Far East.

In many ways, Investment project of "Asia Forest" company, Which received a special subsidy from the Ministry for the construction of the necessary infrastructure (a similar measure of support in the Far East has so far received only 12 investment projects). The company creates a processing complex in the village of Berezovy Khabarovsk Krai with an annual capacity of 200 thousand cubic meters. M dry sawn timber, 100 thousand cubic meters. M profiled sawn timber, 84 thousand tons of fuel pellets and 290 thousand dense cubes. M of technological chips. The annual volume of logging is almost one million cubic meters of forest. The total amount of investments is estimated at 8,4 billion rubles, of which 847 million rubles. - a targeted subsidy from the federal budget for the construction of 64 km of road, one bridge across the Nemelen River and a power generation workshop for the enterprise. The output to the designed capacity is planned for 2018.

"Asia Forest" is part of the BM group - it is one of the largest timber producers in Russia. The company's logging and woodworking enterprises operate in several regions, on the territory of more than 2,9 million hectares. According to Minvostokrazvitiya, the company's projects are being implemented with attraction of investments from China. The company already declares the existence of long-term foreign trade contracts for the supply of products to the markets of Europe, Korea, Japan and China.

Another support mechanism - the regime of the territory of advanced development (TOR) The group of companies RFP used. Subsidiary structures of the holding - OOO Amur Timber Industry Company and JSC Amur Industrial Center - on the Amursk site of Komsomolsk TOR are working to open the production of rotary cut veneer in the volume of 300 thousand cubic meters. M per year and sawn timber in the amount of 250 thousand cubic meters. M per year. Investments are estimated at more than 12 billion rubles. With the creation of 650 jobs.

According to Vladimir Grigoryev, Managing Director for Timber Processing LLC Amur Timber Industry Company, "in the active phase there is already construction of the second plant for the production of sawn timber. Our plans are to give the first product at the beginning of 2017. The products will be export oriented - Korea, China, Japan. The first project is in the operational phase and is stably loaded at a level of at least 60%. The main products are veneer. The main export country is Japan. In the elaboration is the third project - pellet production. Its main goal is to balance the use of raw materials and waste products of the first two projects. The products will also be export oriented. The project is expected to be implemented within two years. "
RFP - the largest timber industry group of the Far East and one of the largest in Russia. The size of the RFP forest fund is 4,5 million hectares, and the annual logging volume is more than 2 million cubic meters. M, which is 15% of the total logging volume in the Far East. The RFP group includes more than 30 enterprises, which form a unified technological chain - from plantation and harvesting to processing, transportation and sale of timber products to end users.

RFP accounts for more than 15% of Russian timber exports to China and more than 5% of Russian exports to Japan. The company is also the largest producer and exporter of sawn timber in the Far East with an annual production of 300 thousand cubic meters. m (without capacity under construction).

The regime of the territory of advanced development allows the investor to receive significant privileges and preferences. Among them - reduced income tax (the first 5 years from the first profit - from 0% to 5%, subsequent 5 years - from 10%), land tax 0% for 3 years, exemption from property taxes, reduced premiums - 7,6%, preferential rental rates, accelerated VAT refund procedure and others.

Finally, just a month ago, there was information that Another largest Far Eastern forestry enterprise is Arkaim LLC - will become a resident of the free port of Vanino. The free port regime (implemented in accordance with the Federal Law "On the Free Port of Vladivostok") on the set of benefits for residents is very close to the mode of the priority development area. The enterprise itself is now not in the best shape - the litigation with creditors continues. However, according to company management, an agreement has been reached to include Chinese investors in the project, who will not only close the company's debts, but also invest in increasing the production capacity of the complex by 80 – 100%. If initially “Arkaim” cost 14,3 billion rubles, then the cost of additional investments in the development of production is 1,42 billion rubles.

The resource will be given priority to investors
It can not be said that the export structure meets today those responsible for the development of the Far East. The share of logs accounts for 70% of exported wood - and this despite the high export duties for timber, which are 25% for DFO enterprises. In fact, high duties lead to a decrease in the competitiveness of the Russian goods, but not enough to encourage investors to process.

Representatives of the Far Eastern forest industry regularly call on the authorities to reduce the export duty - an increase in production (and therefore exports) will have an effect in increasing tax deductions to the budgets of the regions. At the same time, the model, which for a long time was discussed at the level of the Minsk region, was called upon to link the interests of business with investing in the creation of processing industries. In February, for example, at one of the meetings, a proposal was formulated to link the provision of privileges for the payment of customs duties with investments in the creation of forest infrastructure and processing industries.

In September, this measure of support acquired a new sound: Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke about the need for a new formula for Far Eastern timber producers at the Eastern Economic Forum. The presidential instructions on the results of the WEF talk about the need to develop and introduce in the Far East a mechanism for granting priority access to mineral deposits, subsoil plots, fish farms and forest areas for investors implementing projects to create in these territories enterprises for the production of high-tech products and processing Corresponding raw materials. That is, preferential (according to some information - non-search) access to the resource in exchange for investment in the industry.

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