Pubblicato in: Commercio, Devoluzione socialismo

Italia. Maggio. Commercio estero extra EU. Export -31.5% QoQ, -31.0% YoY.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-06-28.

2020-06-27__Istat 001

«A maggio 2020, per l’area extra Ue, al netto del Regno Unito, si stima che l’export aumenti del 38,1% su base mensile e diminuisca del 31,0% su base annua»

«Nel trimestre marzo-maggio 2020, nonostante la crescita a maggio, la dinamica congiunturale dell’export è negativa (-31,5%), condizionata dai forti cali dei mesi precedenti, e sintesi di flessioni che interessano tutti i raggruppamenti, le più accentuate per beni di consumo durevoli (-54,9%), energia (-42,7%) e beni strumentali (-41,3%).»

«A maggio 2020, l’export segna una flessione su base annua marcata (-31,0%), ma in decisa attenuazione rispetto ad aprile. La contrazione, estesa a tutti i raggruppamenti, è più ampia per energia (-57,2%), beni di consumo durevoli (-53,1%) e beni strumentali (-36,1%).»

«Il commento.

A maggio 2020, dopo le ampie diminuzioni dei due mesi precedenti, si registra una prima e consistente ripresa su base congiunturale dell’export verso i paesi extra Ue27, cui contribuisce per circa 17 punti percentuali l’aumento delle vendite di beni strumentali; ulteriori contributi, intorno ai 9 punti, derivano dall’aumento dell’export di beni di consumo non durevoli e beni intermedi. Su base annua, la flessione delle esportazioni è ancora molto ampia (-31,0%), ma in decisa attenuazione rispetto ad aprile (-44,0%), ed è spiegata per due terzi dal forte calo delle vendite di beni strumentali e beni di consumo non durevoli. Più marcata la flessione tendenziale dell’import, cui contribuisce maggiormente la contrazione degli acquisti di energia e beni intermedi (per 16 e circa 8 punti percentuali, rispettivamente).»

2020-06-27__Istat 002

* * * * * * *

Dopo i crolli di marzo ed aprile, era scontato che i dati di maggio presentassero un buon incremento su quelli del mese precedente.

Ma i macrodati su base anno su anno segnano ancora forti contrazioni, dovute in gran parte più alla contrazione degli ordinativi piuttosto che ad una ridotta capacità produttiva.

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Istat. Commercio estero extra Ue. [pdf]

A maggio 2020 si stima, per l’interscambio commerciale con i paesi extra Ue27 , un marcato aumento congiunturale per le esportazioni (+37,6%) e una lieve contrazione per le importazioni (-2,4%).

Il forte incremento su base mensile dell’export è dovuto principalmente a beni strumentali (+62,9%), beni intermedi (+27,1%) e beni di consumo non durevoli (+24,9%). Molto elevato l’aumento per i beni di consumo durevoli (+188,9%) che, tuttavia, spiega solo per circa 4 punti percentuali il rialzo congiunturale dell’export. In calo l’energia (-28,9%). Diversamente, dal lato dell’import, si rilevano diminuzioni congiunturali per quasi tutti i raggruppamenti principali di industrie, le più ampie per energia (-16,9%) e beni di consumo durevoli (-10,2%); in aumento soltanto gli acquisti di beni strumentali (+13,6%). Al netto dell’energia, l’import registra un lieve incremento (+0,3%).

Nel trimestre marzo-maggio 2020, nonostante la crescita a maggio, la dinamica congiunturale dell’export è negativa (-31,5%), condizionata dai forti cali dei mesi precedenti, e sintesi di flessioni che interessano tutti i raggruppamenti, le piu accentuate per beni di consumo durevoli (-54,9%), energia (-42,7%) e beni strumentali (-41,3%). Nello stesso periodo, anche per l’import, il calo congiunturale (-26,9%) è generalizzato ed è più ampio per energia (-51,3%), beni di consumo durevoli (-49,3%) e beni strumentali (-33,5%).

A maggio 2020, l’export segna una flessione su base annua marcata (-31,0%), ma in decisa attenuazione rispetto ad aprile. La contrazione, estesa a tutti i raggruppamenti, è più ampia per energia (-57,2%), beni di consumo durevoli (-53,1%) e beni strumentali (-36,1%). Rispetto alle esportazioni, le importazioni registrano una flessione tendenziale più accentuata (-37,9%), con forti cali per tutti i raggruppamenti, i maggiori per energia (-67,4%) e beni di consumo durevoli (-58,3%).

La stima del saldo commerciale a maggio 2020 è pari a +4.149 milioni (era +4.334 milioni a maggio 2019). Diminuisce l’avanzo nell’interscambio di prodotti non energetici (da +7.806 milioni per maggio 2019 a +5.230 milioni per maggio 2020).

A maggio 2020 l’export verso paesi MERCOSUR (-51,7%), Turchia (-44,4%) e Giappone (-32,9%) è in forte calo su base annua.

Gli acquisti da India (-71,1%), paesi OPEC (-68,3%), Turchia (-54,2%), Russia (-45,8%) e Svizzera (-43,9%) registrano flessioni tendenziali molto più ampie della media delle importazioni dai paesi extra Ue27. In aumento gli acquisti dalla Cina (+4,0%).

A maggio 2020, per l’area extra Ue, al netto del Regno Unito, si stima che l’export aumenti del 38,1% su base mensile e diminuisca del 31,0% su base annua. L’import registra un lieve calo sul mese (-2,5%) e un’ampia flessione sull’anno (-37,7%). Il saldo commerciale è pari a +3.183 milioni (era +3.099 milioni a maggio 2019).

Pubblicato in: Russia

Russia. Maggio. Stato dell’economia. – World Bank.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-06-21.

Kremlino 001

La World Bank ha rilasciato il solito Report mensile sullo stato dell’economia russa relativo al mese di maggio.

In sintesi.

«In the first quarter of 2020, GDP growth slowed to 1.6 percent, y/y, from 2.1 percent, y/y, in the last quarter of 2019.»

«In March 2020, industrial production growth slowed to 0.3 percent, y/y, compared to 3.3 percent, y/y, in February …. This decline reflects the effect of lockdown measures to contain the spread of Covid-19, accompanied by falling commodity prices and declining demand»

«Primary expenditures increased by 5.8 percent of GDP in January–April 2020. Spending on social policy, national economy, and health were the main drivers of this growth.»

«In April, despite extremely low oil prices (average price for Urals oil dropped to S$18.2/bbl, compared to US$29.2 in March), the ruble weakened only by 2.8 percent, m/m, against the U.S. dollar»

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World Bank. Russia Monthly Economic Developments.

The global number of confirmed COVID-19 cases raced past the 5 million mark in late-May, after reaching 3 million a month prior. The global composite PMI sank further into contractionary territory to 26.5 in April, below its historical low of 36.8 in November 2008. Industrial output in China, however, registered positive growth for the first time this year at 3.9 percent (y/y). Oil prices reached their lowest levels since 2002 in April, with the price of Brent crude oil falling 30 percent on the month to US$23/bbl. As of May 26, 362,342 COVID-19 cases (3,807 deaths) were registered in Russia. The Russian Government and the Central Bank (CBR) continued to expand and refine their support measures to counter the socioeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and to lay a foundation for the recovery phase. In April, the ruble weakened by 2.8 percent against the U.S. dollar m/m. The current account (CA) surplus shrank in January-April, compared to the same period in the previous year, as the trade balance narrowed largely amidst lower energy commodities prices and diminished demand. In 1Q2020, GDP growth slowed to 1.6 percent, y/y, from 2.1 percent, y/y, in 4Q2019. In annual terms, in March 2020, industrial production growth slowed to 0.3 percent, y/y, compared to 3.3 percent, y/y, in February. Consumer price index (CPI) inflation accelerated with to 3.1 percent in April 2020, from 2.5 percent in March. Labor market dynamics deteriorated in March 2020. In the first four months of 2020, the federal budget surplus (cash basis) dropped to 0.4 percent of GDP from 2.4 percent in the same period last year on the back of higher spending. Key credit risk and performance indicators remained stable in March, while credit growth dynamics were mixed. 

*


World Bank. Russia Monthly Economic Developments. [Full Text pdf] [Some Statements]

«The global composite PMI sank further into contractionary territory to 26.5 in April, surpassing its historical low of 36.8 in November 2008»

«Lockdowns and restriction measures have caused a very sharp drop in oil demand, and the International Energy Agency expects demand to fall by an unprecedented 9 percent this year. However, oil prices recovered in May as lockdown measures have started to ease in some countries, while oil production has also started to fall. Several large U.S. oil producers have announced cuts to production, and the U.S. Energy Information Administration expects oil production to drop to 11mb/d by the end of 2020, from 12.8 mb/d at the start of the year.»

«As of May 26, 362,342 COVID-19 cases (3,807 deaths) were registered in Russia»

«On May 11, President Putin announced the third package of support measures, with emphasis on families with children and SMEs. These measures include: (i) an additional Rub 5,000 per child for three months for all families (including for April retroactively); (ii) lump sum payments in the amount of Rub 10,000 per child from June 1 for all families with children aged 3 to 16; (iii) increase in the minimum amount of childcare (for children up to the age of 1.5 years) for unemployed (from Rub 3,375 to Rub 6,750); (iv) federal supplementary for employees of social institutions (from April 15 to July 15).»

«In April, despite extremely low oil prices (average price for Urals oil dropped to S$18.2/bbl, compared to US$29.2 in March), the ruble weakened only by 2.8 percent, m/m, against the U.S. dollar»

«In January-April, the CA surplus decreased to US$23.5 billion from US$40.1 billion in the same period last year. The trade balance surplus registered at US$35.6 billion, compared to US$61.6 in January-April 2019; the trade balance narrowed more severely in April, as oil prices dropped further»

«International reserves gained merely US$2.6 billion in January-April, compared to US$21.7 billion in the same period last year»

«In the first quarter of 2020, GDP growth slowed to 1.6 percent, y/y, from 2.1 percent, y/y, in the last quarter of 2019. In March 2020, industrial production growth slowed to 0.3 percent, y/y, compared to 3.3 percent, y/y, in February …. This decline reflects the effect of lockdown measures to contain the spread of Covid-19, accompanied by falling commodity prices and declining demand»

«In the first four months of 2020, the federal budget surplus (cash basis) dropped to 0.4 percent of GDP from 2.4 percent in the same period last year on the back of the higher spending»

«Primary expenditures increased by 5.8 percent of GDP in January–April 2020. Spending on social policy, national economy, and health were the main drivers of this growth.»

Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Devoluzione socialismo, Geopolitica Africa, Problemi militari, Russia

Russia. Dispiegati cacciabombardieri in Libia. La strategia russa in Africa.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-06-03.

2020-06-03__Russia Africa 001

Inizia a delinearsi la strategia di Mr Putin e della Russia per il dominio del Mare Mediterraneo. Dapprima l’intervento militare diretto in Siria, adesso in Libia. Ma il Mediterraneo è solo un elemento di uno scacchiere ben più vasto: l’obiettivo è il dominio dell’Africa.

*

«The US has identified over a dozen Russia warplanes in Libya, marking Moscow’s first direct venture into the North African country»

«Experts say it is part of a larger Russian plan to expand its influence in the region»

«US Africa Command (AFRICOM) announced earlier this week that Russia had deployed at least 14 warplanes to Libya in support of private military contractors known as the Wagner Group»

«It was the first time Russian armed forces were identified in the North African country. Although the Wagner Group purportedly enjoys Russian state backing, the Kremlin had initially stopped short of deploying official military assets to Libya, despite Moscow’s support for general-turned-warlord Khalifa Haftar»

«For too long, Russia has denied the full extent of its involvement in the ongoing Libyan conflict»

«neither Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) nor private military contractors could “arm, operate and sustain these fighters without state support — support they are getting from Russia»

«Russia is clearly trying to tip the scales in its favor in Libya …. The UN said Russia’s Wagner group already has up to 1,200 mercenaries in Libya.»

«Haftar’s LNA has sought to oust the UN-backed government Tripoli in favor of a rival Tobruk-based government. He has received support from Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and, at one point, even France. …. But Russia remains Haftar’s most committed ally»

«Strengthening the Russian military position in North Africa will undoubtedly provide Russian President Vladimir Putin with a much tighter grip over Europe and possibly even deep-rooted influence and control in the wider MENA region»

«Libya’s energy resources and the presence of several deep-water ports will give Putin the logistical and geo-strategical advantage he is attempting to achieve»

2020-06-03__Russia Africa 002

Sarebbe impossibile dominare il Mediterraneo senza poter disporre di porti con acque sufficientemente profonde da permetterne l’uso a navi da guerra. Ma gli unici porti ‘acquisibili’ al momento sono quelli della Libia.

2020-06-03__Russia Africa 003

«Russia’s state arms seller Rosoboronexport announced in April the first contract to supply assault boats to a country in sub-Saharan Africa»

«Russia is building its path to gain a foothold in Africa and broaden its export map for arms on the continent»

«Currently, it accounts for 49% of total arms exports to Africa, according to the database of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)»

«Until now, Algeria remains the biggest recipient of Russian arms in Africa, followed by Egypt, Sudan and Angola …. In the early 2000s, 16 African countries were recipients of Russian arms. Between 2010 and 2019, the figure went up to 21»

«Starting in 2015, Russia started selling arms to oil-rich Angola — mainly fighter aircraft and combat helicopters»

«That same year, Algeria signed another arms deal to buy Russian weapons for $7.5 billion»

«Russia hosted the first-ever Russia-Africa summit in Sochi in 2019 as a way of further identifying cooperation possibilities across the continent. During the summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that “the strengthening of ties with African countries is one of Russia’s foreign policy priorities”»

«This exhibition showed that Russia does not aim to offer disruptive new technologies in arms; instead, it focuses on improving the models that have been demanded the most»

«Russia sees Africa as a key potential partner in the vision for a multipolar world order»

«Less European, less trans-Atlantic and focused more on rising powers and rising regions»

«Despite widespread international condemnation of Mugabe’s regime, Russia stayed on the side of Zimbabwe: together with China, it vetoed the UN’s Security Council resolution for an arms embargo in 2008 and criticized Western sanctions»

«Russia has been scaling up activities in the mining of resources such as coltan, cobalt, gold, and diamonds in several other countries across Africa»

«For example, Algeria alone bought around 200 aircraft items from Russia from 2000 to2019, ranging from transporter helicopters to combat helicopters, bomber and fighter ground aircrafts. Various models of surface-to-air missiles (SAM) that are designed for destroying aircrafts or other missiles have been ordered from Algeria (several orders through 2000-2019), Burkina Faso, Egypt (several orders), Ethiopia, Libya and Morocco. Algeria also ordered tanks (more than 500 items in total), as did Uganda (67 items).»

«Cheap weapons — no questions asked»

«Africa is the continent where Russia can freely push one of the key elements of its exports: weapons. Arms trading accounts for 39% of Russia’s defense industry revenue.»

«Russian arms are good. It is universally recognized. Russian arms are also cheaper. There is no reason why African countries would not want to buy them»

«For example, in 2014, government soldiers in Nigeria were accused of human rights abuses against suspects in the country’s fight against Boko Haram. Afterwards, the US cancelled a shipment of attack helicopters, even though the deal had already been signed. That same year, Nigeria placed an order and received six Mi-35M combat helicopters from Russia»

«from 2009 to 2018, Russia accounted for 31% of Egypt’s imports of major weapons.»

«Russia’s defense industry is secretive; the law does not oblige companies to report on arms exports as such, and usually this information falls under the state’s secrecy laws.»

«China is generally growing as an arms exporter and shows similar patterns as Russia in a way of giving weapons with less political conditions»

* * * * * * *

Fornire armi e sistemi di arma è sicuramente una operazione economica, ma i risvolti politici sono evidenti: i paesi che si dotano di armamenti russi alla fine dipendono dalla Russia.

La chiave del successo è di un semplice banalità.

«Russian arms are good»

«Cheap weapons — no questions asked»

«giving weapons with less political conditions»

Il vizietto di voler imporre la propria Weltanschauung come prerequisito ai commerci sta costando all’occidente il domini mondiale.

*


Russia expands war presence in Libya.

The US has identified over a dozen Russia warplanes in Libya, marking Moscow’s first direct venture into the North African country. Experts say it is part of a larger Russian plan to expand its influence in the region.

US Africa Command (AFRICOM) announced earlier this week that Russia had deployed at least 14 warplanes to Libya in support of private military contractors known as the Wagner Group.

It was the first time Russian armed forces were identified in the North African country. Although the Wagner Group purportedly enjoys Russian state backing, the Kremlin had initially stopped short of deploying official military assets to Libya, despite Moscow’s support for general-turned-warlord Khalifa Haftar.

“For too long, Russia has denied the full extent of its involvement in the ongoing Libyan conflict,” said US Army General Stephen Townsend, who leads AFRICOM. “We watched as Russia flew fourth-generation jet fighters to Libya — every step of the way.”

The US general noted that neither Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) nor private military contractors could “arm, operate and sustain these fighters without state support — support they are getting from Russia.

“Russia is clearly trying to tip the scales in its favor in Libya,” Townsend said.

The UN said Russia’s Wagner group already has up to 1,200 mercenaries in Libya.

Russia’s man

Haftar’s LNA has sought to oust the UN-backed government Tripoli in favor of a rival Tobruk-based government. He has received support from Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and, at one point, even France.

But Russia remains Haftar’s most committed ally.

Moscow has sought to expand its influence in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and supported that mission through military escapades. In Syria, Moscow deployed its armed forces to prop up the Assad regime, a move that has ensured its place as a regional stakeholder.

“Strengthening the Russian military position in North Africa will undoubtedly provide Russian President Vladimir Putin with a much tighter grip over Europe and possibly even deep-rooted influence and control in the wider MENA region,” said Tomas Olivier, a counter-terrorism expert and former senior officer in the Dutch government.

“Libya’s energy resources and the presence of several deep-water ports will give Putin the logistical and geo-strategical advantage he is attempting to achieve,” Olivier added.

Risky business

Although the Russian Defense Ministry has yet to comment on the US allegations, Russian lawmaker Andrei Krasov, a member of the Russian parliament’s Defense Committee, dismissed them as “fake.”

With state-supported paramilitary forces on the ground, the Kremlin maintains the ability to deny direct involvement, yet still has strategic assets in place. That plays into its larger hybrid warfare strategy, which serves to undermine rules and responsibilities in the conflicts it engages with.

But deploying warplanes raises the stakes, making it a highly risky move for Russia, according to Theresa Fallon, director and founder of the Brussels-based Center for Russia Europe Asia Studies.

“Moscow’s supply of aircraft reportedly repainted in Syria for plausible deniability, represents a creeping shift from a proxy war to open support for Haftar,” Fallon said. “If Turkey responds by deploying more aircraft, it is likely that this could turn into another endless, Syria-like conflict.”

Although Russian-Turkish ties have thawed in recent years, the countries back opposing parties in Syria and Libya. Earlier this month, the Turkish government threatened to strike Haftar’s forces if they continued to attack diplomatic missions in Tripoli, where the UN-backed government is based.

“Libya is rich in energy sources, migrants can be leveraged in negotiations with Europe and Russian mercenaries are likely to command a lucrative revenue stream,” Fallon said. “This could turn into one more frozen conflict on which Russia thrives.”

*


Russian arms exports to Africa: Moscow’s long-term strategy.

Along with natural resources, arms exports are a key component of Russia’s economy. In the last two decades, Moscow has managed to deepen its connection with Africa and became the biggest arms supplier on the continent.

Russia’s state arms seller Rosoboronexport announced in April the first contract to supply assault boats to a country in sub-Saharan Africa. The recipient’s identity is concealed. What is known: It marks the first export contract of Russian-made final naval products to this region in the last 20 years. While this news might not have caught much international attention, this new deal adds up to a pattern: Russia is building its path to gain a foothold in Africa and broaden its export map for arms on the continent.

Once a major supplier during the Soviet era, Russia’s role in Africa waned after the collapse of the USSR. But by 2000, Russia had made inroads again, and within the last two decades Russia has managed to become the biggest arms exporter to Africa. Currently, it accounts for 49% of total arms exports to Africa, according to the database of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). 

Since 2000, Russia’s arms exports to Africa have grown significantly. The increases were mainly due to growth in Russia’s arms exports to Algeria.

Russia’s eye on Africa

Until now, Algeria remains the biggest recipient of Russian arms in Africa, followed by Egypt, Sudan and Angola. According to Alexandra Kuimova, a researcher with SIPRI’s Arms and Military Expenditure Program, the number of African countries buying Russian arms increased over the last two decades. In the early 2000s, 16 African countries were recipients of Russian arms. Between 2010 and 2019, the figure went up to 21.

Starting in 2015, Russia started selling arms to oil-rich Angola — mainly fighter aircraft and combat helicopters. The Angolan government in Luanda has long maintained strong ties with Moscow, dating back to the USSR. In 1996, Russia forgave 70% of Angola’s $5 billion (€4.56 billion) in debt, which was mainly a result of several export credits the USSR had issued Angola for buying Soviet arms and military equipment. In the new millennium, Russia was a predictable choice for Angola to sign new arms deals — and within the last five years, Angola has become the third-biggest African client for Russian arms after Algeria and Egypt. Luanda’s other suppliers are Bulgaria, Belarus, Italy and China, but their shares are small.

The situation was similar with Algeria, the largest importer of Russian arms on the African continent. Soviet-era connections allowed Russia to secure its monopoly on arms deals, and Moscow completely wrote off Algeria’s $5.7 billion in debt in 2006. That same year, Algeria signed another arms deal to buy Russian weapons for $7.5 billion.

“Officials in these countries intrinsically look at Moscow from the Soviet-era links and Moscow has been able to maintain its influence. In some cases, like Algeria, it is done by debt release; sometimes by claiming that it will build repair facilities and manufacturing or maintenance facilities,” says Paul Stronski, a senior fellow in the Carnegie Endowment’s Russia and Eurasia Program.

Russia hosted the first-ever Russia-Africa summit in Sochi in 2019 as a way of further identifying cooperation possibilities across the continent. During the summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that “the strengthening of ties with African countries is one of Russia’s foreign policy priorities”.

Arms deals were at the center of attention at the summit. African delegates were invited to exhibitions of Russian weapons: from subsonic jet trainor Yakovlev Yak-130, the Pantsir missile system, and the Tor-M2KM surface-to-air missile systems to smaller arms including a new Kalashnikov AK-200 series assault rifle. This exhibition showed that Russia does not aim to offer disruptive new technologies in arms; instead, it focuses on improving the models that have been demanded the most. 

Opening new markets in line with geopolitical vision

Russia’s growing interest in Africa is defined by not only economic, but also political and strategic reasons. Russia sees Africa as a key potential partner in the vision for a multipolar world order.

“Less European, less trans-Atlantic and focused more on rising powers and rising regions,” Stronski said. This is where Russia’s ties with countries like Zimbabwe and Sudan have been established, he stressed.

Zimbabwe has been subject to financial sanctions from the West since the early 2000s. The state was reportedly responsible for violence, tortures and killings of the president’s opponents during the era of former President Robert Mugabe. Despite widespread international condemnation of Mugabe’s regime, Russia stayed on the side of Zimbabwe: together with China, it vetoed the UN’s Security Council resolution for an arms embargo in 2008 and criticized Western sanctions. Russia exports a number of both raw and finished materials to Zimbabwe, ranging from wood, wheat and fertilizers to printed materials, railway cars and electronics. Russia, in turn, imports coffee and tobacco from Zimbabwe.

Russian companies are also involved in diamond and gold mining projects in the country. According to Gugu Dube, a researcher at the Transnational Threats and International Crime program in the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) in Pretoria, Russia has been scaling up activities in the mining of resources such as coltan, cobalt, gold, and diamonds in several other countries across Africa. In Zimbabwe, Russian companies are also involved in a joint venture of the Darwendale project — mining and smelting one of the world’s largest deposits of platinum group metal — for which production is planned in 2021.

These include aircrafts, missiles, tanks, air defense systems and artillery. For example, Algeria alone bought around 200 aircraft items from Russia from 2000 to2019, ranging from transporter helicopters to combat helicopters, bomber and fighter ground aircrafts. Various models of surface-to-air missiles (SAM) that are designed for destroying aircrafts or other missiles have been ordered from Algeria (several orders through 2000-2019), Burkina Faso, Egypt (several orders), Ethiopia, Libya and Morocco. Algeria also ordered tanks (more than 500 items in total), as did Uganda (67 items).

Cheap weapons — no questions asked

In Russia’s publicly available strategy documents, such as its foreign policy concept or defense doctrine, African states are defined as belonging to an unstable continent and posing an international threat in light of terrorist groups’ activities, particularly in the North African region. Such documents highlight Russia’s aims to expand interaction with Africa by developing beneficial trade and economic relations and supporting regional conflict and crisis prevention.

This ongoing instability feeds a continuous market for arms — and for Russia, Africa represents a major market without a limit in the form of economic sanctions that came from the West after the annexation of Crimea. Africa is the continent where Russia can freely push one of the key elements of its exports: weapons. Arms trading accounts for 39% of Russia’s defense industry revenue.

“Russian arms are good. It is universally recognized. Russian arms are also cheaper. There is no reason why African countries would not want to buy them,” says Irina Filatova, a history professor at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics and professor emeritus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, who specializes in Russo-African history and relations.

In comparison to other big players, arms deals with Russia do not demand political or human rights conditions. In some cases, Russia has managed to fill the gap where European or American suppliers stepped out.

For example, in 2014, government soldiers in Nigeria were accused of human rights abuses against suspects in the country’s fight against Boko Haram. Afterwards, the US cancelled a shipment of attack helicopters, even though the deal had already been signed. That same year, Nigeria placed an order and received six Mi-35M combat helicopters from Russia.

Egypt is a similar case. After a military coup in 2013, the US started cutting military aid and arms supplies to the country. This left Russia (together with France, another leading arms exporter) with an open opportunity; the country quickly intensified arms transfers to Egypt. From 2009 to 2018, Russia accounted for 31% of Egypt’s imports of major weapons.

According to Kuimova, arms deals with Russia generally go fast. If a certain country needs weapons right away and Russia has them, Russia will be able to supply. What also plays in its favor is a lack of pressure from local civil society groups to track weapons sales. Russia’s defense industry is secretive; the law does not oblige companies to report on arms exports as such, and usually this information falls under the state’s secrecy laws. A general lack of data and transparency has created a situation where civil society groups for monitoring arms trading simply do not exist.

Competition for Russia? Growing potential of Chinese arms

For now, Russia seems to be secure in its markets for arms in Africa. However, experts see the potential of China to become a bigger player for arms supplies in Africa. Currently, China accounts for 13% of arms exports to the continent.

“China has improved the quality and quantity of what it sells. They also do reverse-engineered Russian weapons. Since 2014, Russia has shared sensitive military technology as a part of its growing ties with China,” Stronski said.

Kuimova adds that today China is able to produce and offer all kinds of arms. “China is generally growing as an arms exporter and shows similar patterns as Russia in a way of giving weapons with less political conditions,” she explained.

Researcher Filatova does not see China as a threat to Russian arms in Africa, however — in her opinion, the main competitors for Russian arms will remain the same: the US and France. She defines China’s interest in Africa as predominantly economic and says that “Russia’s competition in Africa in that regard is already lost” — because economically, Russia is not able to offer what China can. Moscow instead focuses on natural resources exports and locking down arms deals. For arms importers, switching to other suppliers is costly, so the likelihood is high that Russia can ensure new deals with its arms buyers well into the future.

Pubblicato in: Putin, Russia

Putin. La strategia delle matrioske.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-05-28.

San Vladimiro. Russia. Putin inaugura. 001

La mentalità ideologizzata dei liberal democratici americani e socialisti in Europa trova una preclusione dottrinale alla comprensione della Russia, delle sue ambizioni e della sua realtà.

Intanto, la Russia è un Impero, intendendo con questo termine una federazione di realtà politiche, linguistiche ed etniche alquanto differenti, ma omogenee per amor di Patria. In questo la Russia assomiglia più alla Cina e differisce dall’occidente liberal.

Poi, la Russia vive in modo profondo il proprio retaggio religioso, storico, culturale ed artistico: è in questo che affonda le sue radici la profonda coesione che sta dimostrando. Ma i liberal rigettano persino le proprie tradizioni, figurarsi poi cercare di comprendere quelle altrui.

La concezione di governo quale quella dello Czar imperiale è l’unica realtà politica vissuta dai russi negli ultimi sei secoli: oramai è entrata nei loro cromosomi. È l’unico modo di governare la Federazione.

«La Russia non si può capire con la mente, né la si misura col metro comune: la Russia è fatta a modo proprio, in essa si può soltanto credere».

Russia. Capire un popolo per capire una nazione.

ДМИТРИЙ ХВОРОСТОВСКИЙ – КАТЮША / Dmitri Hvorostovsky – Katyusha

«Che Lui preservi la Patria.

Così come Katyusha preserva il loro amore».

*

Mikhail Kalashnikov. Mosca erige il monumento che i liberal avrebbero abbattuto.

Occidente che muta. 01. Putin, Valdai e la Santa Pasqua.

Russia. Il trionfo della Tradizione. Putin e la religione.

Putin. Una personalità controversa. Una valutazione fortemente avversa.

Putin il Grande. Un intervento da statista.

Valdai. Mr Putin delinea la futura politica estera russa.

Russia, Putin inaugura statua di San Vladimiro il Grande 

Russia Putin il rispetto della memoria storica

*

L’allegato articolo ci sembrerebbe essere stato fatto in modo compiuto.

«la geopolitica di Putin supera la fantasia»

*


La matrioska di Putin

Secondo Fedor Tjutchev1 “La Russia non si può capire con la mente, né la si misura col metro comune: la Russia è fatta a modo proprio, in essa si può soltanto credere.”; una visione poetica, lo spirito slavo e passionale di Čajkovskij, la tessera di un mosaico molto più ampio. In 1984, l’Eurasia di Orwell indicava una superpotenza che comprendeva l’Europa, eccetto l’Inghilterra, ed oltrepassava l’Asia settentrionale fino allo stretto di Bering; la geopolitica di Putin supera la fantasia e va in senso opposto alle direttrici staliniane: l’Eurasia guarda al Mediterraneo in Libia ed in Turchia; in Medio Oriente verso la Siria dove ha conservato le basi di Tartus, Humaymin e Latakia; in Asia Centrale ed Estremo Oriente in coabitazione con Pechino, una convivenza supportata da un’attenta compensazione politica in ambito ONU e caratterizzata dalla fondazione di organizzazioni economiche2 capaci di creare ad Est valide alternative alle seduzioni occidentali, da nicchie negoziali nella SCO3, volte ad attrarre potenze quali Iran, Giappone ed India. La Russia conosce tuttavia limiti che vietano politiche espansive per imporne altre che la vedono quale trait d’union tra Asia Centrale ed Europa.

Useremo 8 Parole chiave, per dare punti di sintesi e giungere a conclusioni logiche.

1: Linee generali di politica estera. Se Kennan4 avesse presenziato al discorso tenuto da Putin nel 2016 al Valdai Club, avrebbe dato un seguito al suo lungo telegramma. Putin, stigmatizzando le politiche occidentali, ha ironizzato su quelle egemoniche obamiane (“Cos’è l’America? Una Repubblica delle Banane o una grande potenza?”), incolpando le élite tecnocratiche sia di privare di senso il concetto di sovranità, sia di ignorare i malesseri sociali. Putin, pro dacia sua, ha tralasciato il suo cortile, ma di certo la politica occidentale gli ha agevolato il compito, visti gli esiti del caos siro-libico. La Russia deve condurre una politica estera indipendente, centellinando le proprie risorse: sostenere sovieticamente troppi fronti è un errore strategico ed un suicidio economico. Fondamentale dunque mantenere rapporti non conflittuali conservando l’equilibrio di Jalta e Potsdam, non cedendo terreno in ambito ONU, e perseguendo strategie alternative a quella americana, troppo incline alla creazione di cohalition of willings, e che ha propiziato le fratture interne con Gorbačëv ed El’cin; meglio dunque attendere gli errori di Washington, punta sul vivo dall’entente cordiale con Maduro.

2: Nazione. Difensore della sovranità, Putin ha tenuto vivi storia e nazionalismo; solo la pandemia è riuscita ad impedire l’anniversario della vittoria sulla Germania, ancora memore dell’umiliazione inflitta con l’inchino degli stendardi nazisti davanti al Mausoleo di Lenin. Ora che l’intellighenzia comincia a soffrire di carenza di motivazioni, la Giornata della Vittoria contrasta il revisionismo occidentale (segnatamente polacco) sulle conseguenze del Patto Molotov – Ribbentrop, e ridesta il senso di accerchiamento con una costruzione verticale del potere e con una progressiva rivalutazione della figura di Stalin, non ancora riabilitata, ma che incarna una gloria russa, non marxista leninista, secondo la retorica usata in Crimea e Bielorussia.

3: Costituzione. Richiedesi uomo forte; il prossimo referendum, se approvato, introdurrà due riforme significative: il limite complessivo di due mandati presidenziali, cosa che permetterà a Putin di ricandidarsi fino al 2036, e la preminenza del diritto nazionale su quello internazionale, volta ad evitare interferenze esterne. Da ricordare la recente rivisitazione della legge sulla cittadinanza, un insieme di misure volte a contrastare il calo demografico e l’impoverimento del mercato del lavoro: una possibile società stratificata, con frange favorevoli ad uno Stato improntato ad una democrazia gestita centralmente.

4: Economia e Pensioni. Il modello produttivo russo, basato sull’export energetico non ha trovato diversificazione, ed il settore bancario è ancora impreparato per contenere le fasi recessive, acuite da tagli negli investimenti e penalizzate dalle sanzioni occidentali, puntate a colpire i settori energetico, della difesa e della finanza. Il Cremlino difende la sovranità economica cercando di attenuare l’interdipendenza estera, e con una programmazione sovietica di opere pubbliche da 400 Mld di dollari da ultimare nel 2024 che suscita non poche perplessità, visti gli elevati tassi d’interesse praticati dalla Banca Centrale che non favoriscono gli investimenti privati. Il cedimento della domanda globale ha portato al crollo del prezzo del greggio, ulteriormente penalizzato dalla decisione di Igor Sechin, CEO di Rosneft, di infrangere il patto con i Sauditi (che hanno continuato a produrre ed a continuare il loro processo di diversificazione) e l’Opec, originariamente indirizzato a colpire lo shale oil USA. D’attualità il problema pensionistico, con l’innalzamento della soglia per gli uomini a 65 anni (eccetto le FFAA) e che ha portato a mobilitazioni di massa. Il rapporto tra lavoratori e pensionati, sbilanciato verso questi ultimi, porta ad un calo contributivo; se è vero che l’aspettativa di vita per un uomo si attesta intorno ai 67 anni, l’erogazione pensionistica non si estenderebbe per oltre 2 anni.

5: Cina e USA. Cina e Russia perseguono propri interessi trovandosi spesso in amichevole disaccordo, tanto che un’alleanza militare non appare ipotizzabile; rimane dunque una cooperazione a livello economico, come nell’Artico, in cui il cambiamento climatico ha aperto vie commerciali altrimenti inaccessibili, in un’area strategicamente rilevante per la deterrenza nucleare e per le traiettorie missilistiche più brevi in caso di conflitto. Il divario esistente tra risorse economiche e tecnologiche acuisce la percezione di una subalternità russa rispetto ad un Dragone che sa che non esistono punti di possibile rottura, dato che anche la politica di Trump con il suo America first, non fornisce a Putin alcuna exit strategy utile.

6: COVID e Propaganda: La congiuntura economica ha acuito gli aspetti recessivi e le frizioni con oligarchi e Governatori chiamati a sopperire alle mancanze statali. Per ciò che concerne la propaganda, anche se può apparire singolare che Mosca lanci una campagna disinformativa proprio quando sta tentando di acquisire un appeal più seducente con i suoi aiuti umanitari, non si può escludere che l’Orso abbia perso il pelo ma non il vizio di ampliare linee di faglia, implementando una strategia del caos che si avvale di metodi asimmetrici, come già avvenuto in Donbas e Siria: “.. la guerra dell’informazione è una forma di potere politico ed uno strumento geopolitico che consente un alto livello di manipolazione ed influenza”5.

7: Dottrine. La dottrina russa ha sviluppato strategie non lineari, volte a difendere la Federazione secondo il principio per cui la politica, durante la guerra, continua ad avvalersi dei mezzi militari, anche quelli nucleari utili a compensare le carenze convenzionali; la stessa Marina, fatta eccezione per le armi subacquee, sembra destinata ad una pericolosa involuzione per ciò che concerne i mezzi di superficie; sotto questo aspetto assume particolare importanza la relazione con la Turchia, utile a garantire l’accesso ai Dardanelli. Non v’è certezza che la cosiddetta dottrina Gerasimov6 sia frutto di un parto originale, ma non c’è dubbio che aspetti strategici e militari siano stati oggetto di un approccio politico più sofisticato, che punta a sorprendere ed a dividere le alleanze del nemico, mascherando le intenzioni, colpendo di sorpresa e sfruttando le vulnerabilità; una rivisitazione della strategia Prometeo di Józef Piłsudski7. Più che di una singola dottrina sembra di poter parlare di un efficace connubio politico militare, dove il Ministro degli esteri Lavrov cura la visione strategica, e Gerasimov – abilmente – un quadro tattico difficile ed esteso.

8: Matrioske. Amarus in fundo, l’Italia. L’attuale situazione ricorda l’epoca rinascimentale, con la Penisola attraversata dalle milizie; secondo un consolidato cerchiobottismo, ci sono fazioni pro Cina, contrapposte ad altre che, guardando alla Russia, strizzano l’occhio ai partner Atlantici, con la Francia osservatore interessato. Il fattore sfuggente sta nella valutazione politica dei Paesi: il sistema Sino – Russo è caratterizzato da un impalpabile confronto democratico, con leader che hanno di fatto prolungato sine die il loro potere. L’aiuto sino russo sotto quale forma di contropartita si concretizzerà? Quale può essere l’effettivo impatto valutario e del PIL russo in un ambito come quello occidentale? Quale competitività può assicurare? La Russia, Federazione multietnica che non può essere gestita se non centralmente, nutre tutto l’interesse a mantenere un perdurante stallo che capitalizzi le risorse strategiche di cui dispone e che, per il momento, le permettono di sedere nei più alti consessi.

*

1 Scrittore e poeta russo

2 Unione Economica Eurasiatica

3 Shanghai Cooperation Organization

4 George Kennan, diplomatico americano

5 Domenico Frascà – Collaboratore del Center for Cyber Security and International Relations Studies (CCSIRS)

6 gen. Valerij Vasil’evič Gerasimov, capo di stato maggiore generale.

7 Faceva leva sulle vulnerabilità russe creando divisioni e conflitti territoriali sostenendo movimenti di indipendenza potenzialmente distruttivi.

Pubblicato in: Cina, Economia e Produzione Industriale, Materie Prime, Russia

Russia. Partita la prima tanker LNG della stagione, da Yamal verso la Cina.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-05-23.

Immagine.png2020-05-22__Yamal 001

«Russia’s biggest liquefied natural gas producer is sending the fuel across the Arctic to China more than a month earlier than usual as the ice that typically blocks the route thaws»

«The Christophe de Margerie, an ice-class vessel serving Novatek PJSC’s-led Yamal LNG project, departed from the production plant in Sabetta, Russia, on Monday»

«That pathway is the shortest and cheapest way for Yamal cargoes to reach Asia. But it’s usually shut for navigation for half a year in the winter due to thick ice»

«Novatek is examining longer and eventually year-round navigation along the route with a new class of nuclear-powered icebreakers»

«The Christophe de Margerie is slated to reach the Caofeidian terminal in China on June 11»

«In 2018 and 2019, the first shipments via the route were dispatched in late June and arrived in July.»

* * * * * * *

Lo sfruttamento dei campi petroliferi e di gas naturale di Yamal, zona artica, ha richiesto colossali investimenti ed innovazioni tecnologiche, ma adesso la Russia inizia a tagliare i dividendi.

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Russia, Penisola Gydan. Arctic LNG-2: un progetto da 21 miliardi Usd.

Russia. Programma di quintuplicare il LNG entro il 2035.

Russia. Varato il Belgorod, Project 09852.

Russia. Akademik Lomonosov. Prima centrale atomica mobile e galleggiante.

Russia. Un gigantesco rompighiaccio per Lng. – Bloomberg.

Artico. 50% delle riserve minerarie.

Yamal. Gli Usa hanno perso, la Russia ha vinto e raddoppia. – Bloomberg

Russia. Yamal. Francia e Germania con il muso nella greppia delle sanzioni.

Cina, Groenlandia e ‘Polar Silk Road’.

Dimenticate Russia, Arabia, Iran, Opec. È la Cina che fa i prezzi del petrolio.

Cina. Arabia Saudita accetta i petro-yuan

Cina. Centrali elettriche nucleari. 37 reattori attivi, 60 in costruzione, 179 programmati.

Putin avvia lo sfruttamento del mega campo Kharasaveyskoye.

Russia. Varato il rompighiaccio atomico Ural. Alla fine saranno 13 navi.

Dall’Artico la sfida russa al gas Usa: Yamal Lng ultimato in tempi record

*

Cina. Marzo. Import petrolifero. Arabia Saudita -1.6%, Russia +31%.

Gazprom. Investimenti per 1.1 trilioni di rubli. Sila Sibiri.

Russia e Cina. Sila Sibiri. Un gasdotto da 4,000 km e 70 mld Usd.

Russia – Cina. Accordo per costruire reattori nucleari di nuova generazione.

* * * * * * * * * * *

La collaborazione sino-russa si basa su solide fondamenta. La Russia esporta petrolio e gas naturale e la Cina li acquista a prezzi stabili e convenienti per ambo le parti.

Si è costituito un redditizio mercato robusto, totalmente fuori dalla portata del blocco occidentale, anche perché le rotte ed i gasdotti sono entro i confini di queste due nazioni.

La Cina è diventata energeticamente autosufficiente e la Russia solida finanziariamente.

*


Russia’s Yamal LNG Sends Early Shipment Via Arctic Route.

– Christophe de Margerie tanker will deliver cargo to China

– Yamal LNG usually starts Northern Sea Route use in late June

*

Russia’s biggest liquefied natural gas producer is sending the fuel across the Arctic to China more than a month earlier than usual as the ice that typically blocks the route thaws.

The Christophe de Margerie, an ice-class vessel serving Novatek PJSC’s-led Yamal LNG project, departed from the production plant in Sabetta, Russia, on Monday and is now headed east via the so-called Northern Sea Route, according to ship-tracking data on Bloomberg.

That pathway is the shortest and cheapest way for Yamal cargoes to reach Asia. But it’s usually shut for navigation for half a year in the winter due to thick ice.

“May is indeed a very unusual time for the start of an eastbound journey via the Northern Sea Route,” Sergey Balmasov, head of the information office at the Center for High North Logistics said by phone. “Normally, as late as in April the navigation conditions are the toughest in that part of the route. The shipment is a proof that the timeframe of the navigation season can be extended.”

Novatek is examining longer and eventually year-round navigation along the route with a new class of nuclear-powered icebreakers, a task made easier with climate change and thinning Arctic ice. The company did not immediately respond to requests for a comment.

The Christophe de Margerie is slated to reach the Caofeidian terminal in China on June 11. Cargo-tracking company Kpler identified the vessel’s move earlier.

The ship’s chosen path indicates the Northern Sea Route may have opened for navigation earlier than normal. In 2018 and 2019, the first shipments via the route were dispatched in late June and arrived in July.

Pubblicato in: Putin, Russia

Putin fa rimuovere i mosaici suoi e di Stalin dalla Cattedrale militare.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-05-06.

2020-05-04__Putin 001

Disraeli soleva dire: “Dio ci scampi dagli zelanti“.

L’arte sacra russa ha una millenaria storia di raffigurare anche le immagini dei governanti.

Solo che la prudenza aveva sempre suggerito di aspettare un congruo lasso di tempo.

I russi stanno finendo di costruire la Cattedrale Militare: una grandiosa costruzione che avrebbe dovuto essere inaugurata questo mese di maggio, in occasione del 75° anniversario della vittoria. Inaugurazione rimandata a causa del Covid-19.

Un mosaico rappresentava Putin, generali di stato maggiore  e Lavrov. Un secondo mosaico inneggiava il ritorno della Krimea alla Madre Patria.

Putin in persona ha ordinato la rimozione di quei mosaici.

2020-05-04__Putin 002

«An enormous new military church was set to feature mosaics of Vladimir Putin, a tribute to the annexation of Crimea and Soviet leader Josef Stalin»

«The president himself has now intervened to remove his own image»

«Another mosaic of former Soviet leader Josef Stalin has also been met with criticism but has yet to be officially removed from the church»

«it had indeed been removed from display “in accordance with the wish of the head of state [Putin].”»

«Putin thought it was too early to celebrate Russia’s current leadership»

Ogni evento storico ammette almeno due differenti letture.

Se gli Stati Uniti celebrano la ricorrenza della loro indipendenza dal Regno Unito, in tale data gli inglesi ricordano una delle loro sconfitte. Se il 4 novembre l’Italia celebra la vittoria sull’Austria ed il ritorno del Trentino alla Patria, gli austriaci ne hanno l’amaro ricordo della sconfitta, delle perdite territoriali, del crollo di un impero centenario.

Si dovrebbe portare rispetto ad ambedue o modi di vedere.

*


Russia removes Vladimir Putin mosaic from military church.

An enormous new military church was set to feature mosaics of Vladimir Putin, a tribute to the annexation of Crimea and Soviet leader Josef Stalin. The president himself has now intervened to remove his own image.

Intricate mosaics depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin and other high-ranking officials will not be put on display in a new Russian military church, officials confirmed late on Friday. The grandiose wall decorations faced objections from the Kremlin.

Another mosaic of former Soviet leader Josef Stalin has also been met with criticism but has yet to be officially removed from the church.

An image of the mosaic, which showed Putin alongside Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, was first made public in Russian media last week. While the Kremlin has not publicly commented on the mosaic, the decision to remove it apparently came from Putin himself.

Bishop Stefan of the church in question denied reports that the mosaic had been dismantled, but told Russian media that it had indeed been removed from display “in accordance with the wish of the head of state [Putin].”

According to a Kremlin spokesman, Putin thought it was too early to celebrate Russia’s current leadership. Putin recently moved to alter the Russian constitution to potentially allow him to stay in power until 2036.

‘Crimea is ours’

The mosaic of Putin celebrated the controversial 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea. Another mosaic panel shows a group of women and reads “Crimea is ours.”

Meanwhile, Vladimir Legoyda of the Synodal Department for Relations between the church and the media told Russian media that a second mosaic depicting former leader Josef Stalin should also be removed.

“With his name associated with many troubles in the lives of people who can not be crossed out of history,” he told Russian radio program Faith, while acknowledging that the featuring of secular figures in churches is not abnormal.

The massive military cathedral was scheduled to be opened during May to mark 75 years since the Soviet victory in World War II, but its opening is likely to be postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Russian annexation of Crimea has been condemned by many Western countries and led to several sanctions being slapped on Moscow.

Pubblicato in: Economia e Produzione Industriale, Materie Prime, Russia

Russia. Petrolio. Taglia la produzione del 20%.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-05-01.

Kremlino 001

«Russian oil producer Tatneft has cut its output by around a fifth this month, before a global supply deal takes effect in May, because storage capacity is full and European demand is weak»

«Facing an historic oversupply, Russia and a number of other leading oil producing nations, a group known as OPEC+, agreed to jointly cut production by nearly 10 million barrels per day (bpd).»

«But mid-sized producer Tatneft has taken pre-emptive action and already cut production because, unlike other Russian producers, it has no access to Asian markets and mainly supplies Europe, where demand has collapsed»

«Tatneft was pumping an average of 29 million tonnes of oil per year, or nearly 600,000 bpd.»

«In April, that level has fallen to around 65,000 tonnes a day or to 480,000 bpd»

«Russian companies would target mainly mature fields and where investments have been largely returned, using a mixture of stopping wells for repairs, conservation and limiting new drilling to meet cuts»

* * *

«Russia will cut its May oil output by 19% to 8.5 million barrels per day (bpd) from its February-March level of 10.4 bpd»

«Lukoil will have to reduce its oil output in Russia by 300,000 bpd in May, compared with February, but Russian quotas will not affect Lukoil’s activities in other countries»

«Together with OPEC+, the cuts could total 20 million bpd, or about a fifth of global oil production.»

* * * * * * *

In Europa si stanno sommando molti elementi negativi. L’economia dell’Unione Europea stagnava da tempo ed era già scesa nella zona di recessione quando si è evidenziata la crisi da epidemia da Covid-19 che ha imposto un blocco della produzione industriale. La domanda di energetici è crollata.

«Europe, where demand has collapsed»

La ripresa del mercato petrolifero europeo sarà un valido indicatore di quando e come avverrà la ripresa economica.

*


Russia’s Tatneft cuts oil output ahead of OPEC+ amid lack of storage, poor demand: sources

Russian oil producer Tatneft has cut its output by around a fifth this month, before a global supply deal takes effect in May, because storage capacity is full and European demand is weak, according to sources and data seen by Reuters.

Facing an historic oversupply, Russia and a number of other leading oil producing nations, a group known as OPEC+, agreed to jointly cut production by nearly 10 million barrels per day (bpd). Moscow has ordered companies to reduce production by a fifth from May 1.

But mid-sized producer Tatneft has taken pre-emptive action and already cut production because, unlike other Russian producers, it has no access to Asian markets and mainly supplies Europe, where demand has collapsed.

“We are reacting to the demand,” a company source told Reuters.

Tatneft operates in Tatarstan in central Russia which became the country’s main oil province in the 1970s with output of 2 million bpd, helping the Soviet Union fund its arms race with the United States.

Production fell steeply in the 1990s but has recovered in recent years thanks to modern but expensive recovery technologies. Over the last couple of years, Tatneft was pumping an average of 29 million tonnes of oil per year, or nearly 600,000 bpd.

In April, that level has fallen to around 65,000 tonnes a day or to 480,000 bpd, preliminary data from the Russian energy ministry seen by Reuters showed, Tatneft’s lowest since the early 2000s.

“We will continue with production as it now is from now on,” the second Tatneft source said. “A fall in April is due to lack of storage, everything is full.”

Tatneft is one of the oldest Russian oil producers, whose fields were discovered in the frenzy of the Soviet Union’s quest for oil in the 1940s during the fight with Nazi Germany.

Sources said earlier this month that to implement the production cuts under the global oil deal, Russian companies would target mainly mature fields and where investments have been largely returned, using a mixture of stopping wells for repairs, conservation and limiting new drilling to meet cuts.

In reply to a Reuters request for comment, Tatneft said it would provide information on this month’s activity once official statistics due out on May 2 are published.

*


Russia to cut May oil output by 19% from February-March: Interfax, citing Lukoil.

Russia will cut its May oil output by 19% to 8.5 million barrels per day (bpd) from its February-March level of 10.4 bpd, Interfax news agency reported on Monday, citing Lukoil’s head of investor relations.

Lukoil will have to reduce its oil output in Russia by 300,000 bpd in May, compared with February, but Russian quotas will not affect Lukoil’s activities in other countries, said Alexander Palivoda.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other large oil producers led by Russia, a group known as OPEC+, agreed this month to cut their combined production by 9.7 million bpd in May and June to support the oil market.

Other leading oil producers, such as the United States, Norway and Canada, are also expected to join the cuts. Together with OPEC+, the cuts could total 20 million bpd, or about a fifth of global oil production.

Reuters this month reported that the Russian energy ministry has told domestic oil producers to reduce output by about 20% from their average February levels, which would bring Moscow in line with its commitment under the global supply pact.

Pubblicato in: Materie Prime, Problemia Energetici

Arabia Saudita. Preannuncia un taglio globale di 19.5 milioni di barili al giorno.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-04-15.

Raffineria 010

«Saudi Arabia’s energy minister said on Monday that effective global oil supply cuts would amount to around 19.5 million barrels per day, taking into account the reduction pact agreed by OPEC+, pledges by other G20 nations and oil purchases into reserves»

«OPEC and allies led by Russia, a group known as OPEC+, agreed on Sunday to a record cut in output to prop up oil prices amid the coronavirus pandemic in an unprecedented deal with fellow oil nations, including the United States, that could curb global oil supply by 20%»

«Measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus have destroyed demand for fuel and driven down oil prices, straining budgets of oil producers and hammering the U.S. shale industry, which is more vulnerable to low prices due to its higher costs»

«Prince Abdulaziz also said the kingdom could cut oil output below its current quota of 8.5 million bpd if there was a need by the market over the coming months and if any reductions were done collectively with other producers on a pro-rata basis»

«The biggest oil cut ever is more than four times deeper than the previous record cut in 2008»

«Oil demand has dropped by around a third because of the coronavirus pandemic.»

* * * * * * *

La crisi economica determinata dall’epidemia da covirus ha depresso la domanda degli energetici ed al momento attuale sarebbe impossibile azzardare una data per una futura, eventuale, ripresa.

Di certo, il crollo dei prezzi petroliferi, il cospicuo ridimensionamento dei mercati finanziari, il blocco della produzione industriale, la contrazione dei trasporti e le conseguenze dell’epidemia hanno formato una miscela esplosiva quale difficilmente l’umanità ha esperito.

Né si potrebbe inferire alcunché di fino a quando questo accordo dell’Opec+ possa essere osservato nei fatti.

*


Saudi energy minister says effective global oil cuts above 19 million bpd.

Saudi Arabia’s energy minister said on Monday that effective global oil supply cuts would amount to around 19.5 million barrels per day, taking into account the reduction pact agreed by OPEC+, pledges by other G20 nations and oil purchases into reserves.

OPEC and allies led by Russia, a group known as OPEC+, agreed on Sunday to a record cut in output to prop up oil prices amid the coronavirus pandemic in an unprecedented deal with fellow oil nations, including the United States, that could curb global oil supply by 20%.

Measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus have destroyed demand for fuel and driven down oil prices, straining budgets of oil producers and hammering the U.S. shale industry, which is more vulnerable to low prices due to its higher costs.

OPEC+ said it had agreed to reduce output by 9.7 million bpd for May and June, after four days of talks and following pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump to arrest the oil price decline.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman told reporters via a conference call that G20 nations outside the OPEC+ alliance had pledged to cut about 3.7 million bpd of oil supply, while oil purchases into reserves (SPRs) were seen at 200 million barrels over the next couple of months, according to the IEA.

Prince Abdulaziz also said the kingdom could cut oil output below its current quota of 8.5 million bpd if there was a need by the market over the coming months and if any reductions were done collectively with other producers on a pro-rata basis.

OPEC+ meets next in June via teleconference to decide on output policy.

“We have to watch what is happening with demand destruction or demand improvement, depending on how things may evolve,” Prince Abdulaziz said.

“This is a situation where every day the numbers change … you have to maintain being vigilant about how these things may progress,” he said, adding there was still “uncertainty related with the virus and its impact”.

The biggest oil cut ever is more than four times deeper than the previous record cut in 2008. Producers will slowly relax curbs after June, although reductions in production will stay in place until April 2022.

Oil demand has dropped by around a third because of the coronavirus pandemic. Oil prices jumped more than $1 a barrel in Monday trading after the agreement, but gains were capped amid concern that it would not be enough to head off oversupply with the virus hammering global demand. [O/R]

But the minister downplayed the drop in oil prices on Monday, saying that the cuts were the reason for the rally in oil prices before the meeting in anticipation of the cuts.

“It’s the typical deal you know: buy the rumour, and sell the news.”

Pubblicato in: Materie Prime, Problemia Energetici, Stati Uniti

Guerra petrolifera. Whiting Petroleum Corporation chiede il Chapter 11.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-04-05.

Raffineria 010

In questo momento Russia ed Arabia Saudita sono coalizzate per distruggere lo shale americano.

Se è vero che un accordo sembrerebbe essere stato raggiunto, sarebbe altrettanto vero ricordare quanti di simili accordi sono poi stati disattesi.

I costi di estrazione americani variano infatti dai 39 Usd ai 48 Usd a barile, molto superiori ai prezzi correnti del petrolio dopo che l’Arabia Saudita ha ridotto il costo ed aumentata la estrazione.


«U.S. shale producer Whiting Petroleum Corporation, once one of the top producers in the Bakken, said on Wednesday that it had filed for bankruptcy protection, becoming the first major victim of the oil price war and the coronavirus pandemic that sent oil prices to $20.»

«Whiting Petroleum Corporation, whose largest projects are in the Bakken and Three Forks plays in North Dakota and the Niobrara play in northeast Colorado, said in a statement that it had started voluntary Chapter 11 cases under the United States Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas»

«Given the severe downturn in oil and gas prices driven by uncertainty around the duration of the Saudi / Russia oil price war and the COVID-19 pandemic, the Company’s Board of Directors came to the conclusion that the principal terms of the financial restructuring negotiated with our creditors provides the best path forward for the Company»

«Whiting Petroleum has reached an agreement with certain noteholders to pursue financial restructuring to debt by more than US$2.2 billion via the exchange of all of the notes for 97 percent of the new equity of the reorganized company»

«Whiting Petroleum will continue to operate without material disruption to vendors or employees, and at this point, it expects to have enough liquidity to meet its financial obligations during the restructuring without resorting to additional financing»

«no one in the U.S. shale patch can profitably drill a new well at $20 WTI Crude»

«what we’ve seen so far may just be a taste of what’s to come»

* * * * * * *

È inutile nascondersi dietro ad un dito.

È in corso una guerra economica combattuta con ogni mezzo, conflitto che si preannuncia essere all’ultimo sangue.

La tempistica è stata ottimale: l’Arabia Saudita si è mossa quando gli Stati Uniti sono stati colpiti dal Covid-19 e dalla crisi del mercato finanziario borsistico, e quando la Russia ha aperto quasi completamente gli oleodotti ed i gasdotti che aveva in costruzione per trasferire le risorse energetiche siberiane alla Cina.

Difficile prognosticare chi ne possa uscire vincitore.

Un cinico potrebbe suggerire come l’Arabia Saudita abbia solo un esercito locoregionale.

*


Russia’s Plan To Bankrupt U.S. Shale Could Send Oil To $60

«As soon as U.S. shale leaves the market, prices will rebound and could reach $60 a barrel, Rosneft’s Igor Sechin said recently. As fate would have it, in what many would have until recently considered an impossible scenario, a lot of U.S. shale might do just that. Breakeven prices for U.S. shale basins range between $39 and $48 a barrel, according to data compiled by Reuters. Meanwhile, West Texas Intermediate (WIT) is trading below $25 a barrel and has been for over a week now. 

The SCOOP/STACK play in Oklahoma has the highest average breakeven price at $48 a barrel. Surprisingly, the Permian is not the lowest-cost play but the second-lowest, at $40. The lowest-cost basin, on average, is the Delaware Basin, part of the Permian.

On the face of it, these averages give no cause for optimism to an industry hit hard and fast by a perfect storm of radically lower demand and a sharp increase in supply. However, it’s worth noting the figures above are averages. They cover a range of breakeven costs that last year, according to the Dallas Fed, featured breakeven prices of as little as $23 a barrel in the Permian. In all fairness, these figures were reported last year. Since then, the lowest may have gone up or, in some locations, down.»

*


Canadian Drillers Face Nightmare Scenario As Oil Crashes To $5

«The U.S. shale patch laments oil prices in the low $20s crippling companies with already weakened debt and liquidity profiles. But further north, the outlook for Canada’s oil patch is even gloomier. Hit by the pandemic-driven demand shock and the price war-induced supply shock, Canadian oil prices have already crashed to below US$10 a barrel.

This year’s oil price crash will hit Canada’s oil patch harder than the 2014 price collapse, analysts say.  

Following the double supply-demand shock of the past weeks, the industry had to quickly switch back to survival mode, just as it was expecting an uptick in upstream investments this year, for the first time in five years.

Canada’s oil and gas sector now faces an existential threat – losing even the little competitiveness it held onto in the wake of the previous oil crash.»

*


The U.S. Is About To Lose Its Place As The World’s Largest Oil Producer

«The United States may lose its top spot among oil producers globally this year, according to economists. With oil prices continuing their slide and Saudi Arabia reiterating its plans to flood the market with oil, U.S. producers are idling rigs and cutting spending plans.

Production has only one way to go: down. 

“I think it’s almost a guarantee that this year it will certainly lose that position,” Emirates NBD commodity analyst Edward Bell told CNBC, referring to the United States. “And it might happen probably a lot faster than we anticipate.”

IHS Markit’s Daniel Yergin also expects that U.S. oil production to swing from growth to decline this year on the significant slump in oil demand caused mostly by the coronavirus outbreak that has so far infected more than 700,000 people globally.»

*


Shale Giant Files For Bankruptcy As Oil Price War Rages On

U.S. shale producer Whiting Petroleum Corporation, once one of the top producers in the Bakken, said on Wednesday that it had filed for bankruptcy protection, becoming the first major victim of the oil price war and the coronavirus pandemic that sent oil prices to $20.

Whiting Petroleum Corporation, whose largest projects are in the Bakken and Three Forks plays in North Dakota and the Niobrara play in northeast Colorado, said in a statement that it had started voluntary Chapter 11 cases under the United States Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas.  

“Given the severe downturn in oil and gas prices driven by uncertainty around the duration of the Saudi / Russia oil price war and the COVID-19 pandemic, the Company’s Board of Directors came to the conclusion that the principal terms of the financial restructuring negotiated with our creditors provides the best path forward for the Company,” said Bradley J. Holly, the company’s chairman, president and CEO.

Whiting Petroleum has reached an agreement with certain noteholders to pursue financial restructuring to debt by more than US$2.2 billion via the exchange of all of the notes for 97 percent of the new equity of the reorganized company.

Whiting Petroleum will continue to operate without material disruption to vendors or employees, and at this point, it expects to have enough liquidity to meet its financial obligations during the restructuring without resorting to additional financing, it said.

Whiting Petroleum became the first sizable U.S. shale producer to seek bankruptcy protection and restructuring after the oil price collapse forced many U.S. drillers, including the supermajors Exxon and Chevron, to announce significant reductions in projected spending and drilling operations, as no one in the U.S. shale patch can profitably drill a new well at $20 WTI Crude.  

Since the oil price crash last month, 22 U.S. independents have cut expenditure for 2020 by a total of US$20 billion, an average of 35 percent, and three have slashed capex by 50 percent or more, Simon Flowers, Chairman and Chief Analyst at Wood Mackenzie, said on Tuesday.

 “The size of cuts is close to those of 2015 and have come through faster. Yet companies today are far leaner than back then; and what we’ve seen so far may just be a taste of what’s to come. Diamondback and Occidental have already cut twice in two weeks, suggesting further, deeper cuts are coming for many US Independents,” Flowers noted.

Pubblicato in: Economia e Produzione Industriale, Materie Prime, Stati Uniti, Trump

Guerra del petrolio. Trump telefona a Mohammed bin Salman.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-04-03.

2020-04-03__Oil WTI 001

«Oil prices spiked on Thursday morning after U.S. President Donald Trump said that he spoke with the Saudi Crown Prince, and hoped and expected that Saudi Arabia and Russia would “cut back approximately 10 Million Barrels, and maybe substantially more,” sending oil prices soaring by 20 percent»

«Just spoke to my friend MBS (Crown Prince) of Saudi Arabia, who spoke with President Putin of Russia, & I expect & hope that they will be cutting back approximately 10 Million Barrels, and maybe substantially more which, if it happens, will be GREAT for the oil & gas industry!»

«Oil prices soared immediately after the tweet, with WTI Crude soaring 25.90 percent at $25.51 as of 11:04 a.m. EDT and Brent Crude surging 20.57 percent at $29.83»

* * * * * * *

2020-04-03__Oil WTI 002

Potenza di una telefonata.

2020-04-03__Oil WTI 003

Finché dura….

*

Trump Tweet Sends Oil Soaring 25%

Oil prices spiked on Thursday morning after U.S. President Donald Trump said that he spoke with the Saudi Crown Prince, and hoped and expected that Saudi Arabia and Russia would “cut back approximately 10 Million Barrels, and maybe substantially more,” sending oil prices soaring by 20 percent. 

“Just spoke to my friend MBS (Crown Prince) of Saudi Arabia, who spoke with President Putin of Russia, & I expect & hope that they will be cutting back approximately 10 Million Barrels, and maybe substantially more which, if it happens, will be GREAT for the oil & gas industry!” President Trump tweeted on Thursday.

Oil prices soared immediately after the tweet, with WTI Crude soaring 25.90 percent at $25.51 as of 11:04 a.m. EDT and Brent Crude surging 20.57 percent at $29.83.

According to the Saudi’s official news agency, SPA, Saudi Arabia is calling for an urgent meeting for OPEC+ states “and another group of countries”.

Making no mention of specific numbers.

The press agency later went on to make mention of the relationship with the United States.

Earlier today, prices were already gaining more than 8 percent after the market began to tentatively hope that former allies Russia and Saudi Arabia could re-launch talks on propping up oil prices, which are too low for both of those economies, regardless of their claims of ‘resilience’ even at these prices.

After weeks of ‘no-backing-down’ in the oil price war, the former allies Saudi Arabia and Russia have started hinting at readiness to re-launch cooperation to save oil prices from sliding further amid the massive demand loss in the coronavirus pandemic.

“Saudi Arabia has always welcomed and supported cooperation among oil producers in their efforts to stabilize the oil market during the current crisis, based on the principles of fairness and equity,” a Gulf source familiar with Saudi Arabia’s thinking told Reuters on Thursday but said that the OPEC+ break-up was Russia’s fault.

Russia, for its part, has decided it’s economically unfeasible for its producers to boost oil production right now, so Moscow called off an earlier promise to also increase supply, albeit at a much lower rate than Saudi Arabia.

With U.S. shale producers suffering the first immediate blow from the Saudi-Russian oil price war, U.S. President Trump discussed the situation on the oil market with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin earlier this week and said he held a separate phone call with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.