Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Business in Brief

Disclosing PGMs

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- The government may disclose data on stocks and output of platinum group metals next year, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin was quoted as saying.

Prime-Tass quoted Kudrin as telling reporters on Saturday in the Siberian region of Yakutiya that the government planned to present amendments to the legislation on state secrets to the State Duma lower parliament house in autumn.

The government expects the Duma to approve the changes in the first quarter of 2004, Kudrin said.

The amendments are then to be endorsed by the Federation Council upper chamber and signed into law by the president.

Currently data on PGMs, widely used in the car industry, jewelry and electronics, are considered a state secret in Russia.

Last January Kudrin said the government expected PGM data to be disclosed in the first half of 2003.

Hiking Yuzhny Oil

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- The government said Monday it planned to launch regular crude oil shipments from the Ukrainian Black Sea oil port of Yuzhny this year with the aim to load three to four large cargoes per month.

The Yuzhny port near the oil terminal of Odessa was designed a few years ago by Ukraine as it hoped to import large volumes of Caspian crude to ship further via a pipeline to central Europe.

But after it failed to find enough oil and faced limited demand in central Europe, Ukraine decided to reverse the pipeline to export crude via Yuzhny from Russia, which needs new export routes for its booming output.

Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko said the country's pipeline monopoly, Transneft, would start setting regular crude oil schedules from the fourth quarter, aiming to load three to four 100,000-metric ton cargoes per month.

$1Bln in Thai Trade?

BANGKOK, Thailand (Bloomberg) -- Thai and Russian companies may boost trade to $1 billion by 2004 after setting up a panel to suggest ways to increase business, The Nation reported, citing Piyabutr Cholvijarn, vice minister for commerce.

The two nations will set up the panel when President Vladimir Putin visits Thailand in October to attend the summit of leaders of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation.

Thailand exported $177.2 million worth of goods, or 0.46 percent of its total exports, to Russia in the first half and imported $271.8 million, or 0.78 percent of its total imports, from that country, the paper said.

Thailand's main imports from Russia include steel, pulp and paper and silver. Its main exports are sugar, rice and canned fruits.

Russian steelmakers are interested in setting up joint ventures with Thai steel makers, The Nation also reported.

2 Sukhois to Indonesia

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) -- The first of Indonesia's newly purchased top-of-the-line Russia fighter jets are scheduled to be delivered to the air force Tuesday, an air force spokesman said.

President Megawati Sukarnoputri concluded a deal to purchase two Sukhoi-30s, two Sukhoi-27s, and two MI-35 assault helicopters through a countertrade deal worth $192.6 million during a state visit to Moscow in April.

The Russian deal triggered a continuing parliamentary probe in Jakarta after lawmakers accused Megawati's administration of violating legal mandates to channel all military purchases through the defense ministry. She instead bought the aircraft using funds reserved for natural disasters.

The price for a Su-30 Flanker is about $35 million per plane, defense analysts say. In Asia, only China, India and Vietnam operate the high-performance jets and Malaysia is considering purchasing a squadron.

Sugar Tariffs

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- The Agriculture Ministry has proposed keeping raw sugar imports regulation via annual tariff quotas but dropping auctioning rights to bring in sugar within the quotas.

"The [proposed] scheme satisfies a significant part of the sugar market," Igor Khudokormov, chairman of Prodimex, said.

Top sugar buyer Russia currently regulates imports by annual tariff quotas to protect domestic producers and to keep refineries working throughout the year.

Sugar within the quota is imported at a low tariff, while a high tariff applies to non-quota sugar. The right to import sugar within the quota has been tendered at an auction.

For the Record

Kazakhstan has revised its outlook for the 2003 grain harvest to 14.0 million metric tons from an earlier estimate of 12.8 million tons, as good weather helped increase crop yields, a senior official said Monday. (Reuters)

The government said Monday oil product pipeline grid Transnefteproduct exported 8.5 million metric tons of oil products in the first half of this year compared with 7.3 million tons in the same period last year. (Reuters)