by AmericanKulak ➕follow (8) 💰tip ($0.34 in tips) ignore
« First « Previous Comments 331 - 360 of 360
Russia’s Flagship Oil Is Trading at Half Global Prices With Tiny Pool of Buyers-- Bloomberg
Urals crude oil traded at about $38 a barrel on Friday
European ban made Russia increasingly reliant on China, India
January 9, 2023, 12:40 PM UTC
Russia’s flagship oil is selling at less than half international prices — and way below a Group of Seven imposed cap — following sanctions targeting the Kremlin’s revenue from petroleum sales.
The nation’s Urals grade, a far bigger export stream than any other crude that Russia sells, was $37.80 a barrel at the Baltic Sea port of Primorsk on Friday, according to data provided by Argus Media. Global benchmark Brent settled at $78.57 on the same day.
On Dec. 5, the European Union all but halted seaborne crude imports from the country, killing what was historically Russia’s top export market. Simultaneously, the bloc joined with the G-7 industrialized nations in imposing a cap on the price of Russian supply. Anyone wishing access to Western services — in particular industry standard insurance, but also an array of other things — could only do so if they paid $60 of less.
A key driver of prices has probably been the lost European market, because it put Russia at the mercy of a tiny pool of large buyers, most notably China and India. And with tankers having to sail thousands of miles further to get cargoes from western Russian ports to those buyers, freight costs soared. That forced barrels to be discounted to compete with shipments from the Middle East.
“If Europe imposes sanctions on dairy starters, then we will not have sour cream in Russia. Now 90% of our market is imported starters. We simply do not have biofactories for their production,” said Sergey Bachin, the founder of Russia’s largest producer of meat and dairy organic products, AgriVolga.
“The White House has taken the entire West in such a direction and speed of triumphalism, arrogance and “egregious” imbecility that there is no going back or reversal possible without a total defeat of the official narrative and the consequent eternal shame.” — Hugo Dionisio
The New York Times — indicted this week as a chronic purveyer of untruths by no less than their supposed ally, The Columbia Journalism Review — is lying to you again this morning.
This whopper is an artful diversion from the reality on-the-ground that Ukraine is just about finished in this tragic and idiotic conflict staged by the geniuses behind their play-thing President “Joe Biden.” By the way, it’s not a coincidence that Ukraine and “JB” are going down at the same time. The two organisms are symbionts: a matched pair of mutual parasites feeding off each other, swapping each other’s toxic exudations, and growing delirious on their glide path to a late winter crash.
The point of the war, you recall, is “to weaken Russia” (so said DoD Sec’y Lloyd Austin), even to bust it up into little geographic tatters to our country’s advantage — that is, to retain America’s dominance in global affairs, and especially the supremacy of the US dollar in global trade settlements.
The result of the war so far has been the opposite of that objective. US sanctions made Russia stronger by shifting its oil exports to more reliable Asian customers. Kicking Russia out of the SWIFT global payments system prompted the BRIC countries to build their own alternative trade settlement system. Cutting off Russia from trade with Western Civ has stimulated the process of import replacement (i.e., Russia making more of the stuff it used to buy from Europe). Confiscating Russia’s off-shore dollar assets has alerted the rest of the world to dump their dollar assets (especially US Treasury bonds) before they, too, get mugged. Nice going, Victoria Nuland, Tony Blinken, and the rest of the gang at the Foggy Bottom genius factory.
All of which raises the question: who is liable to bust up into tatters first, the USA or Russia? I commend to you Dmitry Orlov’s seminal work, Reinventing Collapse: The Soviet Experience and American Prospects, Revised & Updated. For anyone out there not paying attention the past thirty-odd years, Russia, incorporated as the Soviet Union, collapsed in 1991. The USSR was a bold experiment based on the peculiar and novel ill-effects of industrialism, especially gross economic inequality. Alas, the putative remedy for that, advanced by Karl Marx, was a despotic system of pretending that individual humans had no personal aspirations of their own.
The Soviet / Marxist business model was eventually reduced to the comic aphorism: We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us. It failed and the USSR gurgled down history’s drain. Russia reemerged from the dust, minus many of its Eurasian outlands. Remarkably little blood was shed in the process. Mr. Orlov’s book points to some very interesting set-ups that softened the landing. There was no private property in the USSR, so when it collapsed, nobody was evicted or foreclosed from where they lived. Very few people had cars in the USSR, so the city centers were still intact and people could get around on buses, trams, and trains. The food system had been botched for decades by low-incentive collectivism, but the Russian people were used to planting family gardens — even city dwellers, who had plots out-of-town — and it tided them over during the years of hardship before the country managed to reorganize.
Compare that to America’s prospects. In an economic crisis, Americans will have their homes foreclosed out from under them, or will be subject to eviction from rentals. The USA has been tragically built-out on a suburban sprawl template that will be useless without cars and with little public transport. Cars, of course, are subject to repossession for non-payment of contracted loans. The American food system is based on manufactured microwavable cheese snacks, chicken nuggets, and frozen pizzas produced by giant companies. These items can’t be grown in home gardens. Many Americans don’t know the first thing about growing their own food, or what to do with it after it’s harvested.
There’s another difference between the fall of the USSR and the collapse underway in the USA. Underneath all the economic perversities of Soviet life, Russia still had a national identity and a coherent culture. The USA has tossed its national identity on the garbage barge of “diversity, equity, and inclusion,” which is actually just a hustle aimed at extracting what remains from the diminishing stock of productive activity showering the plunder on a mob of “intersectional” complainers — e.g., the City of San Francisco’s preposterous new plan to award $5-million “reparation” payments to African-American denizens of the city, where slavery never existed.
As for culture, consider that the two biggest cultural producers in this land are the pornography and video game industries. The drug business might be a close third, but most of that action is off-the-books, so it’s hard to tell. So much for the so-called “arts.” Our political culture verges on totally degenerate, but that is too self-evident to belabor, and the generalized management failures of our polity are a big part of what’s bringing us down — most particularly the failure to hold anyone in power accountable for their blunders and turpitudes.
This unearned immunity might change, at least a little bit, as the oppositional House of Representatives commences hearings on an array of disturbing matters. Meanwhile, be wary of claims in The New York Times and other propaganda organs that our Ukraine project is a coming up a big win, and that the racketeering operations of the Biden family amount to an extreme right-wing, white supremacist conspiracy theory. These two pieces of the conundrum known as Reality are blowing up in our country’s face. It will be hard not to notice.
US Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the first transfer of forfeited assets from sanctions against a Russia oligarch on Friday during an appearance with Ukrainian Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin at the Justice Department. The funds, according to Garland, will go toward aiding Ukraine.
“Today, I am announcing that I have authorized the first ever transfer of forfeited Russian assets for use in Ukraine,” Garland said. “These forfeited assets follow the announcement I made last April of the indictment of designated Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeyev, on charges of sanctions evasions.”
In June, millions were seized from a US bank account belonging to Malofeyev, whom the United States announced sanctions against in April “for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly” the Russian government, the Treasury Department said at the time.
“With my authorization today. The forfeited funds will next be transferred to the State Department to support the people of Ukraine,” the attorney general added. “Russian war criminals will find no refuge in the United States.”
Kostin echoed Garland’s statement Friday, adding that the two countries were sending a clear message: “There will be no immunity and impunity for international crimes.”
“Today, we are witnessing the authorization of transfer of the confiscated assets in the amount of $5.4 million US dollars to the State Department for the purpose of rebuilding war ravaged Ukraine,” Kostin added.
“We are grateful to the United States for its decisive efforts and support. Ukrainian people will never forget that,” he said.
Russian Deficit Soars to $25 Billion on War Spending, Oil Embargo
Budgetary pressures on President Vladimir Putin’s government grow war in Ukraine nears one-year mark
Feb. 6, 2023 12:57 pm ET
Western oil sanctions and soaring battlefield costs took a heavy toll on Russia’s finances last month, pushing the government budget into its deepest deficit to start the year in more than a decade.
Oil and gas revenues nearly halved, dropping 46% in January from the same month last year, according to data from the Russian Ministry of Finance published Monday. Government spending, driven by military purchases, jumped by 59% from last January.
That left the budget with a deficit of around $25 billion, the statistics showed, marking the worst budget performance at the start of the year in official data going back to 2011. The government has increasingly turned to its rainy-day fund to plug the gap.
The data offers a stark illustration of the growing budgetary pressures on President Vladimir Putin’s war economy as his invasion in Ukraine nears its one-year mark. It puts the government in a quandary of how to stimulate the sanctions-stricken economy, support the local population and pay for the war effort.
“Throughout much of last year, it seemed like the war expenses could not destabilize Russia’s government finances,” Janis Kluge, an expert on Russia at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs. “Now, as the actual costs become clearer and the oil embargo kicks in, this isn’t so sure.”
At the start of the war, Moscow benefitted from ample energy revenues as prices rose and it was still selling oil and gas to Europe, its biggest market. But a European Union ban on most Russian crude oil deliveries as well as a price cap agreed by the Group of Seven in December have limited Moscow’s ability to sell its most prized asset. While Russia has been able to divert sales to Asia, the sanctions have eroded its bargaining power.
Russia’s flagship Urals blend now trades around $50 a barrel, a deep discount to global benchmark Brent crude which changes hands around $80 a barrel.
Moscow’s decision to stop most natural gas exports to Europe has also taken a toll on revenues.
Another EU ban, on the imports of Russian diesel fuel and other oil products, took effect on Sunday, further clouding the budgetary picture. The U.S. and its allies also recently agreed to cap the sales price of premium Russian petroleum products such as diesel at $100 a barrel and limit low-value ones such as fuel oil to $45 a barrel.
Russia typically relies on oil and gas sales for around 45% of its budget revenues. The drop in oil and gas sales in January pushed overall budget revenues down by more than a third, the data showed.
On the expenditures side, Russia’s shift into a war economy has sparked a jump in public procurement. January’s data follows a similar jump in spending in December. Mr. Putin has said that Russian factories are working in multiple shifts to cope with the increased demand for military goods. He has said that there are no limits for financing the Russian army.
“The defense-industrial complex greatly contributes to the dynamics of the manufacturing sector,” Mr. Putin said last month. “Over the past year, it has seriously picked up steam and continues to increase capacity.”
While the January budget numbers were bad, Russia isn’t in imminent economic trouble. It has found ways to keep its oil flowing to new markets in India, Turkey and China, albeit at a lower price. A price turnaround in global oil markets would provide a boost to Moscow.
Military production, meanwhile, has jump-started the industrial sector and provided employment for workers. Most economists expect Russia’s economy, which shrank last year, to remain in a recession this year, though some forecast a shallower drop in GDP.
The deficit nevertheless creates constraints on Moscow. It increases pressure for the government to borrow through bond issuance, which can exacerbate already high inflation. The government restarted domestic debt auctions in recent months to plug the budget gap.
Last year, Russia recorded a deficit equaling 2.3% of gross domestic product. The Russian government expects the budget to record a deficit of 2% of GDP this year, based on an oil price of $70 a barrel. Banks and analysts polled by Consensus Economics in January expected the deficit to widen to 2.8% of GDP this year.
The Russian government itself expects to run a deficit at least until 2025.
Moscow’s National Wealth Fund, built from previous oil and gas sales and used as a rainy-day fund, stood at $152 billion on Feb. 1, the equivalent to 7.2% of projected GDP. That is down from $175 billion, or 10.2% of GDP, before the invasion.
Write to Georgi Kantchev at firstname.lastname@example.org
Preliminary assessment of the execution of the federal budget for January 2023
According to a preliminary estimate, the volume of federal budget revenues in January 2023 amounted to 1,356 billion rubles  , which is 35% lower than the volume of revenues in January 2022:
* Oil and gas revenues amounted to 426 billion rubles and decreased by 46% compared to January 2022, which is primarily due to a decrease in quotations for Urals oil and a decrease in natural gas exports.
* Non-oil and gas revenues amounted to 931 billion rubles and decreased by 28% compared to January 2022, mainly due to a reduction in domestic VAT and income tax revenues.
According to preliminary estimates, the volume of federal budget expenditures in January 2023 amounted to 3,117 billion rubles , exceeding the figures for the same period last year by 59%.
(Bloomberg) -- Russia’s oil and gas revenue almost halved in February after Western restrictions on crude and petroleum products took effect and gas exports to Europe fell.
Tax revenue from oil and gas plunged 46% in February from a year ago to 521 billion rubles ($6.91 billion), the Finance Ministry said on Friday. Proceeds from crude oil and petroleum products — which accounted for over two thirds of energy tax revenue last month — fell by 48% to 361 billion rubles, according to Bloomberg calculations.
The drop in contributions to the nation’s budget comes after the price of Urals crude — Russia’s key export blend — has fallen to a significant discount compared to the Brent benchmark. The European Union banned most seaborne imports of crude and petroleum products from Russia, and the Group of Seven industrialized nations imposed a price cap.
With the price of Urals oil averaging just over half of its value a year ago, Russia is seeking to gradually narrow the discount to Brent it uses to calculate taxes in an effort to boost revenue amid sanctions. Energy proceeds account for around at third of nation’s coffers, which are under pressure amid the rising cost of financing the war in Ukraine.
Gas revenue fell almost 42% in February from a year ago to 161 billion rubles, as even higher proceeds from the mineral extraction tax failed to make up for losses from export duties. Budget revenue from gas export duties fell 81% to 40 billion rubles after nation’s gas giant Gazprom PJSC reduced pipeline flows to Europe, historically its largest market, and the fuel price has significantly declined amid warmer-than-usual weather.
GETTING RICHER EVERY DAY!!!
When everyone plays with the kid who has the ball decide that the kid with the ball is really a spoiled petulant brat who always takes his ball and goes home at the slightest provocation, eventually, the other kids make due without the ball and find another game to play.
Part of the fleet of Superjet 100 passenger aircraft reportedly risks grounding over a lack of US-made spark plugs for the Franco-Russian SaM-146 engines.
The information was reported by the Telegram channel Aviatorshchina, a Russian telegram channel that regularly publishes insider stories from the aviation industry.
“Over the past 11 months, spark plugs have been supplied by PJSC UEC- Saturn from its reserves, but at the moment, PJSC UAC-Saturn has difficulties in providing this service,” a notice shared by the channel reads. “The current situation leads to the risk of stopping part of the airlines’ RRJ95 [another name for the SSJ100 – ed. note] aircraft fleet in the near future and the gradual complete cessation of flights of the entire fleet of RRJ-95 aircraft, which jeopardizes the implementation of the flight program for the transportation of passengers, including socially significant ones.”
Saturn, a subsidiary of the Russian state company United Engine Corporation, is one of the two companies forming PowerJet, a joint venture in charge of producing and supporting the SaM146, the sole engine powering the Sukhoi Superjet 100 airliner. The other company involved in the joint venture is the French engine manufacturer Safran.
Before sanctions were applied against Russian aviation in the aftermath of the invasion of Ukraine, engine spark plugs for the SaM-146 engines were manufactured by the US-based company Unison Industries.
In late March 2022, PowerJet, the Russian-French manufacturer of the SaM146 engines, said it would suspend its engine maintenance and repair services. A month later, several Russian airlines operating the Sukhoi Superjet 100 warned that they might have to ground the aircraft soon.
Biden just loves sanctions ...
Uganda Enacts Death Penalty for Gay Pedophiles, Biden Threatens Sanctions
The new legislation, which bans homosexuality, the promotion of homosexuality, and gives the death penalty to gay child-grooming pedophiles, “protects and safeguards the sovereignty of this country, the morals of this country, the culture, and we will always legislate for our people,” said Anita Annet, the Speaker of the Ugandan Parliament, when the national legislature voted to pass the law on Wednesday.
So you insist on lumping Uganda and CCCP into one shithole category? Can't say I disagree....
I think he's pointing out how ridiculous the US looks with their sanctions.
I think he's pointing out how ridiculous the US looks with their sanctions.
Looks like you're reading him wrong.
The only ridiculous thing here is the CCCP's
Maxine Waters was talking about "the Soviet aggression" just a few years ago.
Maxine Waters was talking about "the Soviet aggression" just a few years ago.
That cunt still thinks the Confederate States of America exists.
« First « Previous Comments 331 - 360 of 360
Gas in Russia is cheaper than Gas in Qatar or Bahrain or Saudi Arabia.
Unable to buy $30/lb luxury Italian Cheese, $30/bottle midrange French Wines, expensive German Audio Equipment... what will the Russians do with themselves?
Eat local cheese, drink local beer, and buy the same audio equipment from China that's on Amazon USA