Rusal will support the stimulation of domestic demand for aluminum

The Russian government is puzzling how to save Rusal by Oleg Deripaska at the expense of the state budget. The package of developed measures to increase the consumption of aluminum inside the Russian Federation until 2024 in the most approximate outline drags on 140 billion rubles.
"Kommersant" found out how the government plans to support Oleg Deripaska, who fell under the US sanctions, "RusAl" by stimulating domestic demand for aluminum 2.5 times. The roadmap for the development of the industry until 2023, approved by Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, presupposes industry subsidies in the use of aluminum, expansion of its scope of application, stringent import restrictions, new localization requirements for machine builders, and another attempt to reduce the share of the market of plastic packaging. But consumers do not support all the ideas of the government.

Vice-Premier Dmitry Kozak held a meeting with officials, "Rusal" and other "interested organizations" on June 27, following which he endorsed the "road map" for the development of the aluminum industry of the Russian Federation until 2023, sources told Kommersant and confirmed by the deputy prime minister's representative . The program is designed to increase demand for metal in Russia and is needed primarily for the only producer of primary aluminum in the country - Rusal Oleg Deripaska, which on April 6 came under US sanctions. "Rusal" exports about 80% of aluminum: in 2017 with the release of a little less than 3.6 million tons in Russia, the company sold up to 1 million tons to the domestic market.

22 events in the field of state purchases and purchases of state-owned companies, tariff regulation, customs restrictions, expansion of aluminum applications, creation of new products and new productions were studied in the road map, which Kommersant was familiar with. Back in 2016, Oleg Deripaska said that the program for the development of the industry until 2024, developed by a working group led by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, suggests an increase in aluminum consumption in Russia to 2.5 million tons, but it will have to spend 140 billion rubles. The same reference point was called on July 9 by the head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov.

Also at the meeting, Dmitry Kozak discussed ten additional proposals on additional stimulation of demand in industry, but they will be discussed at least until October.

In "RusAl", Kommersant said that "for the aluminum industry of the Russian Federation, the support of manufacturers of high-tech aluminum products is now particularly relevant." The Aluminum Association (including RusAl and the largest producers of aluminum products, including American Arconic and Ball, as well as its consumers) clarified that aluminum consumption in Russia in recent years "is growing faster than in the rest of the world, but still by almost a third lags behind the level of developed countries. "

Metal stop at the border

A number of proposals of the "road map" are aimed at direct restriction and reduction of imports. According to calculations by Kommersant based on the data of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEC), in 2017 183 thousand tons of aluminum products were imported to Russia for $ 930 million by codes TNVED 7603-7616. But in "Rusal" they said that the real potential of import substitution is 500 thousand tons per year (in terms of primary aluminum - 750 thousand tons per year).

As a result, by October 15 it is proposed to submit proposals to the government to increase import duties on aluminum products above the level of binding of the WTO. Now these duties in the EAEC are 5-15%. One of the interlocutors of Kommersant believes that the process can be complicated, since Russia can not change the rates of fees unilaterally and it will require the consent of the other members of the EEA. But the adviser of the law firm DLA Piper Wilhelmina Shavshina points out that the increase in duties for the Russian Federation can be carried out by withdrawing products from a single customs tariff. The procedure allows to temporarily set the rates, which are different from those common to the EAES.

Also it is planned to involve the state purchasing resource. State companies will have to add to their profile documents additions "concerning the procurement of products using aluminum from Russian enterprises" (the draft directives are expected by August 15). In FZ-44 and FZ-223, it is proposed to introduce changes that envisage the use of Russian aluminum semi-finished products in purchased imported transport and equipment under offset agreements (the project is expected by September 1). Also, it is a question of prohibiting or restricting the access of certain imported aluminum products to state and municipal purchases (with the exception of goods from the EEA, projects are also expected by September 1).

Only Russian alloys

Government Decision No. 719 of July 17, 2015, which describes technological operations, compliance with which gives machine builders access to subsidies, the road map proposes to introduce "requirements for the manufacture or use of components from Russian aluminum alloys." There are no specifics, but the proposals, which will be discussed before October, refer to measures to achieve by the end of 2019 90% of the localization of such components. The terms of subsidies to producers of agricultural machinery should be expanded if they use more Russian aluminum (the project is expected by August 15). There are direct prohibitions - for example, imports of wheels equipped with a tire (TNVED 8708 70). The ideas discussed, among other things, presuppose benefits and subsidies to manufacturers and users of aluminum wagons.

Deputy head of Rosspetsmash Association (producers of agricultural, construction and other special equipment) Vyacheslav Pronin notes that aluminum production is actually a monopolized market and "there is a risk that companies will increase prices, which will damage the producer of the final product." "When a year ago aluminum producers asked the Ministry of Industry to include a resolution on the use of Russian aluminum in the 719th, they were refused," he said. However, specified in the "Rosspetsmash", with the release of agricultural machinery "not so much aluminum is used."

In the group "GAZ", also controlled by Oleg Deripaska, only Russian aluminum is already purchased and the restrictions are called "the right step from the point of view of deepening the localization". But the source of Kommersant in the industry says that producers of aluminum products "are unlikely to be satisfied with the prices and volumes of automakers". He calls the idea of ​​localization 90% unrealistic: in the car market, technological supply chains have already been built, "planning which takes years." The wide use of Russian aluminum, Kommersant's source is sure, is possible only in the mass segment, "where there are not such stringent quality requirements."

Displacement of plastic

A number of measures threaten the resumption of conflict between aluminum companies and beverage producers. So, by March 1, 2019, a document on amending Government Decree No. 284 of April 9, 2016, which sets the rates for the environmental fee for the disposal of goods, should be prepared, unless it is implemented by producers or importers. It is proposed to increase the collection rates for plastic packaging "in order to stimulate the use of renewable materials." Dmitry Kozak also instructed before September 1 to submit proposals for regulating the production of aluminum and plastic packaging for alcohol "taking into account foreign experience."

The head of the association RusPack (which unites, in particular, Coca-Cola Eurasia Eurasia, PepsiCo Holdings, Procter and Gamble, Tetra Pak) Lyubov Melanevskaya calls the increase in rates for plastic packaging unreasonable. "If the goal is to take care of the environment, we need to evaluate the full life cycle of production and recycling of packaging, compare the impact of different types of packaging on the environment on the basis of professional calculations, rather than populist slogans," she says. Danone also stresses that "it is necessary to work together to move to a cyclical economy, and not only to stimulate the use of one material to the detriment of others."

The dispute between the manufacturers of plastic and aluminum packaging for alcohol is not the first year. Since 2017 in the Russian Federation it is already impossible to produce beer in plastic containers with a volume of more than 1.5 liters for the domestic market and trade it in the country. As a result, according to the Union of Russian Brewers, in 2017 beer sales decreased by 4-5%. Director for Corporate Relations AB InBev Efes Oraz Durdiyev told Kommersant that now about 40% of the beer market accounts for PET packaging: "We consider non-market methods of regulation unacceptable and we are still confident that the consumer should have a choice." According to him, beer in a plastic container provides more access to legal and safe alcohol for the consumer.

Aluminum without Borders

To expand the use of aluminum, it is proposed to approve the rules for the design and use of metal in power supply for buildings and construction of bridges (by August and December), and generally update the current standards and regulations in all sectors "no later than December 2023". Separately, the idea of ​​creating a foundry, processing aluminum alloys for industrial needs (proposals are waiting until October 1), and creating a "zone with preferential conditions" (report by the end of the year) has been separately fixed for the account of extrabudgetary funds. Under the latter, most likely, we mean the projects of "Rusal" to create "technological valleys" in Krasnoyarsk, Khakassia and Volgograd, where aluminum processors are invited.

There are a number of ideas for expanding the use of aluminum in aviation: by October 1, 2019 a report "on the possibility of using mobile collapsible aluminum runways and sites in remote and sparsely populated areas" should be submitted. The topic is relevant: since 1990, the number of airfields in the Russian Federation has decreased more than fourfold, to 227. Over 95% of those who have stopped working or reduced it to a minimum - airports serving regional and local air lines with a runway of 500-1800 m. Vladimir Putin in a recent message to the Federal The meeting pointed to the need to reconstruct and expand the network of regional airports, so that by 2024 half of the inter-regional flights were carried out directly, bypassing Moscow.

Tighter and unpopular ideas regarding the aviation industry in the "road map" have not yet entered. They deal mainly with serious measures to restrict the supply of foreign aircraft to Russia and stimulate Russian purchases. It is discussed, for example, the cancellation of recognition in the Russian Federation of foreign certificates for foreign aircraft and aircraft components. In addition, there is an idea to include in the state program for the development of the aviation industry until 2025 a subprogram on the development of general aviation for agriculture, medical needs and passenger transportation to 20 seats. This issue was repeatedly raised by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, recognizing that regional aviation actually has to be created anew, but such large-scale initiatives are only indirectly related to the support of the aluminum industry.