The Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation has left unchanged the parameters of the indexation of freight railway tariffs in the next three years.
On January 1, 2021, they will grow by 3.7%, in 2022 – by 3.6%, in 2023 – by 3.8%, in 2024 – by 3.9%, follows from the published in Saturday, the department's macro forecast. The same figures were given by the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade a year ago in a similar document. Indexation in 2024, as previously expected, will amount to 3.9%.
Since 2018, rates have been raised on the inflation minus principle. The size of the indexation is calculated on the basis of the ministry's macro forecast as the arithmetic average of the actual consumer price indices for the previous two years and the forecast ones for the next two years – minus 0.1 percentage points. This formula will be valid until 2025.
At the same time, the previously established target markups for infrastructure overhaul (2%) and for compensation of expenses associated with adjusting the tax legislation of the Russian Federation (in 1.5%) will remain in the tariff base: they should be canceled in 2026 and 2022, respectively – rates will decrease by the same amount.
In 2020, freight rates were indexed by 3.5%. They increased by the same amount in 2019, but at the same time surcharges for transportation abroad (with the exception of aluminum and oil cargo) in the amount of 8% were transferred to the price list and a 6% markup was introduced for empty wagon runs.
The Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation in 2020 expects a decrease in freight rail traffic by 4.5%, to 1.221 billion tons, according to the ministry's macro forecast.
“Since the beginning of the year, the downward trend in loading has remained in the context of the continuing deterioration of the situation in key commodity markets, primarily commodity markets, as well as the unstable macroeconomic situation caused by the difficult epidemiological situation,” the regulator notes.
The ministry recalls that there has been a drop in the transportation of almost all cargo, first of all – coal, oil and oil products, timber and ferrous metals.
The figures for 2019 given in the document – 1 billion 279.4 million tons (-0.9%) – are close to the data on loading (domestic traffic + export) provided by JSC Russian Railways (1 billion 278.1 million tons, -0.9%). At the same time, the latest forecasts of Russian Railways for 2020 are much more optimistic than ministerial ones.
In mid-September it became known that the monopoly expects a reduction in loading by only 3.5% (to 1.234 billion tons) instead of the previously announced 5%. At the end of January-August 2020, loading was 4% lower than in the same period in 2019 (816.9 million tons).
“On the horizon until 2023, a recovery growth in rail transport is predicted (1 billion 303.9 million tons),” the Ministry of Economic Development also says in the macro forecast.
At the same time, in the document, the department points to the factor of insufficient development of approaches to seaports: “Most of the railway sidings do not provide an increased flow of goods,” the ministry writes, stressing the importance of resolving this issue in the medium term.
Russian Railways, according to their September materials, expects a 2.6% increase in handling in 2021 (to 1.265 billion tons). At the same time, at the end of August, the first deputy head of Russian Railways, Vadim Mikhailov, called a slightly higher figure. “We are financing 2.8% (growth in loading in 2021 – IF) in financial terms. But we do not know until the end how we will finish 2020,” he said.
“We hold a large number of meetings with consignors. We talked with the oilmen about the possibility of establishing long-term relations, with metallurgists (with all industries – IF), where it is generally possible. We see that there is a positive trend in construction cargo and grain. Very good dynamics in containers. (General – IF) positive dynamics will be supported by everything that depends on us “, – said the top manager.