Business news from Ukraine

STATE-RUN UKRZALIZNYTSIA HAS NO PLAN TO RAISE TICKET PRICES FOR PASSENGERS

JSC Ukrzaliznytsia in 2022 does not plan to raise prices in passenger traffic.
“So far, there are no such decisions. We have indexed very smoothly this year. Not all at once, but in relation to the consumer price index and stretching for the whole year. On the contrary, we plan to stimulate individual services with promotional rates. For example, with tour operators, we are talking about how to support the transportation of large groups by rail by setting discounts on bulk reservations depending on the size of the group,” Oleksandr Pertsovsky, the director of the Passenger Company branch, said in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine.
He also noted that in the medium term, Ukrzaliznytsia plans to initiate a revision of tariff regulation in order to enter a more flexible pricing policy in the passenger segment.
“What I mean: a common practice among transport operators is that the earlier you buy tickets, the cheaper they are, and if at the last minute – the more expensive. to the price. This will allow us to increase the average profitability while still giving the best price to the individual passengers who are most price sensitive. As an option, make a greater distinction between classes. We are also working on the possibility of changing pricing in relation to distances,” he explained.
According to him, all this requires both certain regulatory changes and programmatic changes in terms of restructuring the current IT system of Ukrzaliznytsia.
The director of the Passenger Company branch also noted that in comparison with 2020, in 2021 Ukrzaliznytsia showed good dynamics in terms of covering expenses with income in the segment of passenger transportation.
To further improve the situation, the company is working on the introduction of contracts for socially significant transportation, since for many years the company had “a huge percentage of underfunding” from the local authorities.
“Plus, we are actively working on the issue of control over fares. In the suburbs, for example, we are piloting an IT system that allows you to sell tickets online or through kiosks, both single and subscriber for passengers. We are also reviewing the configuration of the turnstile system to reduce the percentage of free riders,” Pertsovsky said.
He also stressed that the idea of bringing passenger traffic to the level of prime cost is impossible within the framework of the current market model and does not make sense.

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EU URGES UKRAINE TO BOLDLY RAISE CO2 PRICES, WHILE BUSINESS HOPES FOR SUPPORT IN DECARBONIZATION

Shifting the burden of financing decarbonization onto taxpayers would be wrong, Ambassador of the European Union (EU) to Ukraine Matti Maasikas expressed this position at the discussion titled “Decarbonization. What is the Ukrainian way?”
“The polluter must pay. The authorities must work more boldly with this,” the ambassador said.
According to him, the payment for CO2 emissions is EUR 0,15 per tonne in Ukraine, while over EUR 50 in the EU.
First Deputy CEO of Interpipe Denys Morozov said that business is ready to invest in decarbonization, but with the support of the government, these efforts will have a greater effect. Morozov said the company made the largest environmental investment of about $1 billion without government support ten years ago, when no one spoke about Green Deal, having built an innovative electric steel-smelting complex Interpipe Steel instead of the environmentally dirty open-hearth production and reducing CO2 emissions by ten times.
According to him, Interpipe, which exports 85% of its products, is increasingly receiving requests for environmental audits from its customers, and now the company is completing the development of a long-term Decarbonization Strategy.
“Despite the presence of a modern metallurgical plant that meets all EU environmental standards, we still need support from the government. First of all, it concerns the availability of scrap metal, which is a critical raw material for decarbonization,” Morozov said. He called for leaving all scrap in Ukraine, since without it the country will not be able to decarbonize metallurgy and achieve the goals of the Green Deal.
The second problem, he called the lack of sufficient industrial access to cheap low-carbon and “green” electricity, in particular, nuclear power plants.
DTEK Executive Director Dmytro Sakharuk said the main requirement for the state is predictability.
“Long-term investments need a stable environment […]. We are ready to pay, but we need trust [in the actions of the authorities] and stability,” he said.
According to Sakharuk, the reduction of feed-in tariffs resulted in almost 1 GW of green electricity not being generated in 2021 and an additional 2 million tonnes of CO2 will be emitted.
Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Olha Stefanishyna said it is important for business to get a strategy and the government is working on its own Ukrainian Green Deal.
She said there is a clear understanding of the need for financial resources for such a green transition, and this is also one of the government’s priorities.
According to Minister of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources Roman Abramovsky, Ukraine has already managed to agree on the idea of ​​a Ukrainian Climate Fund, similar to the Energy Efficiency Fund, with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and by the end of September such an agreement can be completed with the World Bank.
According to Morozov and Sakharuk, one of the directions for using the fund’s resources could be compensation for interest rates, since in Ukraine they are significantly higher than in Europe. As the head of the Ecology Ministry said, it is possible.

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PRICES FOR CONSTRUCTION WORK IN UKRAINE 16.8% UP

Prices for construction and assembly work in Ukraine in May 2021 increased by 16.8% compared to May 2020, the State Statistics Service has reported.
According to the statistics department, prices increased in all segments of construction: in residential construction the growth was 10.6%, in non-residential construction – 15.3%, in engineering – 22.1%.
Compared to the previous month, the cost of construction of residential buildings in May increased by 1.3%, non-residential – by 2%, engineering structures – by 1.4%.
Since the beginning of the year, the rise in prices for construction work amounted to 14.2%, the State Statistics Service said.
As reported, in 2020, prices for construction work increased by 3.7% compared to the previous year, while in 2019 – by 6%.

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HOUSING PRICES MAY GROW IN UKRAINIAN CAPITAL BY 15-20% IN 2021

The average price of apartments in the primary housing market of Kyiv may grow by 15-20% and reach $1,300 per square meter already in 2021, and by the end of 2023 it may reach $2,000 per square meter, Director General of Kovalska Group Serhiy Pylypenko has said.
“The trend continues, and this year we expect housing prices to rise no lower than last year by 15-20%. This is the minimum level of increase. The market is very active, not overheated, demand is stable. Amid rising prices for construction materials, inflationary processes, lower interest rates, affordable mortgages and other factors, we expect a rise in prices. My expectations: already this year, the average price in Kyiv may reach $1,300 per square meter, and by the end of 2023 – already $2,000 per square meter,” Pylypenko said during the discussion panel “Post-Quarantine Development” hosted by the Confederation of Builders of Ukraine in Kyiv on Wednesday.
According to him, the growing shortage of high-quality land sites for construction in the Ukrainian capital also influences the rise in housing prices.
“The old General Plan has lost its relevance, the new one has not yet been adopted, so in the next one or two years it will not be easy to find a site which is intended for residential construction, and this will create a certain shortage of sites for future development, which will also influence the rise in prices,” he said.
In addition, the expert predicts an increase in prices for construction materials on average within 15-20% during the year. According to him, this trend forces developers to take this into account at different phases of the construction.
“All developers have experienced an increase in the cost of basic construction materials, in particular metal, which has grown by 30-40%, and other materials are also growing in price. This year, I expect that the prices for basic construction materials and construction costs may rise by 15-20%. This should to be taken into account in pricing,” he said.
According to the forecast of Pylypenko, the rise in housing prices will lead to an enlargement of the development market and displace unreliable developers.
Kovalska industrial and construction group has been operating in the construction market of Ukraine since 1956. It is a leading manufacturer of construction materials, developer and builder of the country.

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UKRAINE PLANS TO FACILITATE IMPORTS TO STABILIZE SUGAR PRICES

The Ministry of Development of Economy, Trade and Agriculture of Ukraine is considering issuing licenses in the near future to import additional 50,000 tonnes of raw sugar, the ministry said on its website on Thursday.
“The cost of sugar produced from imported raw material is about UAH 20 per kilogram. Accordingly, after the import in the coming weeks, the price situation will level out and sugar will become more affordable for Ukrainians. Meanwhile, the parliament is considering the possibility of a temporary zeroing of duties on imports of white sugar to Ukraine, which will also contribute to the saturation of the domestic market with sugar,” the ministry’s press service said, citing Deputy Economy Minister Taras Vysotsky.
He said that in February-March, 40,000 tonnes of sugar were also imported under the established tariff quota with a zero duty rate in accordance with the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement.
According to the Economy Ministry, imports of additional raw sugar will provide the processing industries with a sufficient amount of raw materials, which will saturate the market and lead to a decrease in the retail price.
As reported, on April 5, the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMCU) launched an investigation into the grounds of anticompetitive concerted actions on the primary sugar market against the Astarta Group and Radekhiv Sugar LLC (Lviv region), which during September-November 2020, equally increased the wholesale selling prices for this product by an average of 48%.

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PRICES FOR CONSTRUCTION WORK IN UKRAINE UP BY 12% IN FEB

Prices for construction and assembly work in Ukraine in February 2021 increased by 12% compared to February 2020, the State Statistics Service has said.
According to it, prices increased in all construction segments: construction of buildings saw an increase of 7.4%, of which residential – by 6.8%, and non-residential – by 7.9%; engineering construction increased in price by 19%. The prices for the construction of complex industrial facilities increased the most – by 41.2%.
Compared to the previous month, prices for construction of residential buildings increased by 0.9%, non-residential buildings by 2%, and engineering structures by 4.5%.
As reported, in 2020, prices for construction work in Ukraine increased by 3.7% compared to the previous year, while in 2019 – by 6%.

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