In my previous materials, it was shown that almost 30% of the revenues of the federal budget of the Russian Federation are formed by the mineral extraction tax (MET), despite the fact that the amount of this tax directly depends on world oil prices in dollars and on the exchange rate of the dollar against the ruble.
Obviously, with such a "source" to talk about some kind of de-dollarization is a complete absurdity. You can pay in euros, even in yuan, or even in tugriks - what's the point if budget revenues are still calculated in dollars?
But why bother making the budget dependent on such parameters?
In essence, the answer is very simple and is directly related to "denationalization", that is, with the transfer of subsoil companies into private hands. The thing is that, for obvious reasons, their revenues and profits are highly dependent on world prices for gas and oil, as well as on the current dollar / ruble exchange rate.
After all, what happens? World prices have fallen - export earnings have fallen, and they occupy a very, very significant share in the revenues of oil producing companies.
For example, in 2019, the Russian Federation produced 560,2 million tons of oil. At the same time, 248,51 million tons were shipped to non-CIS countries, that is, more than 44,3% of the total production. And it is clear that if the oil price suddenly drops (say, from $ 60 to $ 45 per barrel), this will mean an overall reduction in the revenue of oil producing companies by 11%. And - out of the blue, since the cost of extracting this very oil will not decrease in any way.
However, if at the same time as oil quotes the dollar suddenly climbs up, the situation for oil producers will, of course, immediately improve. Of course, their dollar earnings will still decrease by the same amount, but now it will be possible to buy more rubles with these dollars than before. And our oil workers, whatever one may say, carry out their activities in Russia and for the most part bear their expenses in rubles, paying for them, of course, in rubles.
And if in numbers?
Suppose there is a certain company “X” on the market that produces 1000 tons of oil. Since, on average, companies supply 44,3% for export, let's imagine that "X" sold 443 tons of oil, say, to Germany, and the remaining 557 tons to enterprises in the Russian Federation.
And now let's calculate how much the revenue will change after the payment of the mineral extraction tax of this company, if suddenly a barrel of oil falls in price from 60 to 45 dollars (that is, by 25%), and the dollar, on the contrary, rises from 60 to 66 rubles / dollar. (i.e. 10%).
So, the proceeds from the sale of 557 tons of oil to Russian enterprises will remain the same, but the proceeds for 443 tons sent for export will decrease in dollars from 193,5 to 145,1 thousand dollars (1 ton of oil = 7,28 barrels). If the dollar exchange rate had remained unchanged, then the revenue would have decreased by 2,9 million rubles, but taking into account the 2,03% growth we agreed upon, the decrease in the ruble proceeds would be only XNUMX million rubles. This, in fact, will be our loss from the fall in world oil prices.
Now let's calculate the size of the severance tax. I have already cited the formula before, but so that the respected reader does not need to look at the previous article (which he, perhaps, he missed altogether), I will repeat:
MET per tonne of oil produced = (Price per barrel of Urals in USD - 15) * USD exchange rate / 261 * Standard MET rate - Production peculiarity factor
Taking into account that the standard rate is 919 rubles, and the coefficient of production peculiarity is negative on average, and adds (and does not subtract) to the tax about 400 rubles, we get that:
With an oil price of $ 60 / barrel and a dollar exchange rate of 60 rubles / $ MET is equal to 9 rubles. per ton of oil.
With an oil price of $ 45 / barrel and a dollar exchange rate of 66 rubles / $ MET is equal to 7 rubles. per ton of oil.
Well, and (since MET is taken from the total amount of oil produced, in our example it is 1000 tons), it turns out that the amount of tax will decrease by 2,5 million rubles. In total, Company X will remain in positive territory by about 470 thousand rubles!
In other words, it turns out that with a fall in world oil prices by 25%, but with an increase in the dollar rate by 10%, the ruble proceeds (remaining at the disposal of the subsoil user after the payment of the mineral extraction tax) will not only not decrease, but will grow.
Thus, one very simple fact can be stated - the existing taxation system, of course, redistributes a significant part of the income of subsoil users in favor of the state, but at the same time it is maximally loyal to oil producing companies. The MET is calculated in such a way that even a relatively small rise in the dollar exchange rate covers the losses of such companies in the event of a decline in oil prices - in ruble earnings, of course.
And this is done, in essence, at the expense of the state - instead of 9,9 million rubles from company "X" from our example, it will receive only 7,4 million. It is the state that does not receive the same 2,5 million rubles from MET that cover the losses of the oil company "X". And this is even under the condition of the growth of the dollar rate - after all, if it were not for it, the losses from the decrease in the mineral extraction tax would be even greater and would amount to about 3,2 million rubles.
True, there is another nuance here: nevertheless, the severance tax is not the only special tax imposed on our oil workers. There is also a customs duty, the amount of which also depends on the world oil price. It is calculated as follows: if a ton of oil costs more than $ 182,5 (which corresponds to a price of about $ 25 per barrel), then $ 29,2 is paid for a ton of oil sold for export and plus 30% of the difference between the current world price and the aforementioned $ 182,5.It turns out that at a price of $ 60 per barrel, the customs duty should be approximately $ 104,5 per ton, and at $ 45 per barrel - almost $ 72.
And here the oil producing company loses much more, because in this case, the revenue from one ton of exported oil falls by $ 109, and the duty - even less than 33. Although the share of customs duties in revenue becomes lower with such a fall in prices, yet - not enough to compensate for the losses of the oil company.
It would seem that in the current period of falling oil prices - it's high time to reduce the severance tax a little, but on the other hand, to increase customs duties? Indeed, in this way the state will be able to fairly compensate for the loss of its budget.
After all, what is actually happening? When export prices for oil fall, the MET is automatically reduced. But it is decreasing not only for export supplies, but for all produced oil. That is why it turns out that the oil industry from the fall in world prices (subject to the growth of the dollar exchange rate) may even remain in profit. Simply because the savings from MET in rubles may turn out to be greater than the loss in export earnings (as shown in the example above). But with the customs duty, this number will not work. After all, it is levied on exports and only on exports.
But where there ... You will laugh, but our leadership did exactly the opposite.
The so-called "tax maneuver" was undertaken, as a result of which the customs duties should have been reduced, and the MET - increased! This is presented with the explanation that, they say, we need to get rid of our dependence on oil exports. But in fact, such measures lead to only one thing: in conditions of relatively low oil prices, the state will lose from this maneuver, and oil producers will gain.
Of course, not everything is so simple. And with the decline in world oil prices, our oil industry is not rolling like cheese in butter. Simply because, although the depreciation of the dollar allows it to maximize its ruble earnings, all this is not for long.
The growth of the dollar rate provokes inflation, the purchasing power of the ruble is gradually being lost, so that sooner or later our subsoil users will have to tighten their belts. But they receive increased revenues in rubles immediately, and the weakening of the ruble occurs later, so they have time to prepare for temporary difficulties. And the oil industry is getting ready: it is starting to cut investment programs, seismic exploration costs, etc. etc.
In other words, the fall in world oil prices, of course, is hitting our oil producers as well. But - in the last place. And in our entire economy, it is the oil companies that are protected from the impact of the crisis to the maximum extent.
At the same time, the federal budget, of course, loses money, receiving less taxes from oil workers. But the strengthening of the dollar affects him in the most beneficial way, partially offsetting the decrease in income from the mineral extraction tax and customs duties. And the same logic works here:
Having “bumped” the ruble against the dollar, the budget gets an increase from ruble receipts immediately, and problems associated with the depreciation of the ruble - later.
And most importantly, no one can demand from the budget to solve these problems in time.
How does it come out? Oil prices have dropped. Payments to the budget, too. They dropped the ruble, and the budget began to receive more money. Peremoga, of course. But then the ruble depreciates due to inflation.
But what does the budget mean? If the purchasing power of the ruble has fallen, but the state continues to pay the same pensions in the same amount as before, then pensioners, not the budget, suffer from this. Then, of course, their pensions will be raised. But, firstly, it will be later. And the budget will save a lot on this. And secondly, they will raise it by the value of official inflation, that is, far from being on a par with the real rise in prices ... And the budget will again save on this.
That is, you need to understand that if it has arrived somewhere, it means that it has disappeared somewhere. The existing tax system really allows solving the problems of the budget and oil producers by playing on the dollar exchange rate, but at the expense of you and me and at the expense of all other sectors of the Russian economy. Simply because all other enterprises do not receive any preferences from the fall of the ruble, but are forced to disentangle the consequences, incurring losses on it.
After all, what happens when the rate falls at an average industrial enterprise? All imported components are becoming more expensive, as is the maintenance of foreign machine tools. Revenues are falling, as the largest investors (oil, gas, etc.) wind up their investment programs, and after them all others. Interests for servicing bank loans are growing, because inflation is growing. But it is difficult to raise prices for your products, because in this case the competitor will sell cheaper, and you will lose the already narrowed sales market.
Well, here, of course, the would-be HSE analysts publicly declare that the fall of the ruble will reduce export prices. And thanks to this, our enterprises can enter international markets with a favorable price offer, increasing revenues due to the growth of export supplies. In fact, this is the most complete fiction.
Firstly, because foreign guys are great at defending their markets, and even with a "good price offer" they are not included so easily. Secondly, and this is the most important thing, for such an “invasion”, domestic enterprises need additional resources - but where can they get them when a bank demands to repay existing loans on time, but refuses to give new ones, “because there is a crisis!”? Each fall in the ruble exchange rate is accompanied by a liquidity crisis for enterprises in the real sector of the economy; they simply do not have the resources to enter world markets.
As a result, you have to grit your teeth, bear the increased costs with a lower level of revenue, spending available reserves, until, finally, prices on the market go up. Those who lacked reserves - well, sorry, you did not fit into the market.
And how to make it enough? It's clear. The easiest and fastest way to reduce employee labor costs. And many workers put up with it, so as not to lose their jobs. And what does this lead to?
To reduce the purchasing power of the population, of course. And if the population does not have money, then no small "family" business, which our would-be economists pray for, will not flourish. The less money people have, the less they can pay and the worse it will be for small businesses.
A little about small business
Our analysts from the Higher School of Economics and others. cannot understand one simple thing in any way. Small business in the West has largely developed precisely on the wave of the development and formation of industry and agriculture. That is, when the workers and peasants began to receive a little more than they need to meet their vital needs. It was then that they were able to spend this money on some excesses, and it was here that small business turned out to be very useful.
In other words, the main driver of small business development was the growth in the well-being of those who work in the field and at the plant. And we have everything topsy-turvy. The crisis, the purchasing power of the population is falling, and the state is investing in entrepreneurship training and thinks that this will lead to economic growth ...
If, say, before the population of city N could afford to spend 50 million rubles on various services. a month, and now only 25 - train even 100 million private entrepreneurs, this will not raise the economy. Because, no matter how many private entrepreneurs there are in the city of N, they still won't earn more than 25 million rubles.
They are very simple.
First. The current system of taxation of oil and gas production primarily ensures the interests of subsoil users and only secondarily - the interests of the budget.
Second. The interests indicated in conclusion 1 are provided by playing with the dollar exchange rate.
The third. Designated in pin 2 games with the dollar exchange rate ensure the interests of subsoil users and the budget at the expense of the rest of the economy and the population of our country.
Fourth. And all of the above leads to a completely paradoxical situation. It is not the wealth of our subsoil that works for the good of our country.
It our country works for the benefit of those who manage the wealth of our subsoil.