Falling oil prices will adjust potash fertilizers export plans in 2015
In 2015, the Belarusian Potash Company plans to export 9 million tonnes of potash, which is 5.3% less compared with 2014. The expected decrease in potash exports Q4 2015 is due to the fall in oil prices, which has led to the devaluation of national currencies in China, Brazil and India, main buyers of potash fertilizers. Belarus exports circa 90% of produced fertilizers, which means that production volume might decrease to levels of 2014; that chemical industry would no longer have a positive impact on the industrial production index; that Belaruskali would contain investment costs; and that foreign currency earnings would only slightly exceed the 2014 volumes (USD 2.7 billion) thanks to higher prices on potash fertilizers in H1 2015. The worsening outlook for potash fertilizers sales will curb influence on the pace the Nezhinski project is implemented (by Slavkaly) and on the development of the Petrikov deposit (by Belaruskali).
President Lukashenka continues to rotate staff and rejuvenate heads of departments and universities following new appointments in regional administrations. Apparently, new Information Minister Karliukevich could somewhat relax the state policy towards the independent media and introduce technological solutions for retaining control over Belarus’ information space. New rectors could strengthen the trend for soft Belarusization in the regions and tighten the disciplinary and ideological control over the student movement in the capital.
President Lukashenka has appointed new ministers of culture and information, the new rector of the Belarusian State University and heads of three universities, assistants in the Minsk and Vitebsk regions.
The new Information Minister Karliukevich is likely to avoid controversial initiatives similar to those former Minister Ananich was famous for, however, certainly within his capacities. Nevertheless, the appointment of Belarusian-speaking writer Karliukevich could be regarded as the state’s cautious attempt to relax environment in the media field and ensure the sovereignty of national media.
The Belarusian leadership has consolidated the trend for mild Belarusization by appointing a young historian and a ‘reasonable nationalist’, Duk as the rector at the Kuleshov State University in Mogilev. Meanwhile, while choosing the head of the Belarusian State University, the president apparently had in mind the strengthening of the ideological loyalty among the teaching staff and students at the main university in order to keep the youth movement at bay. Previously, Korol was the rector of the Kupala State University in Grodno, where he held purges among the disloyal teaching staff.
The trend for the renewal of mid-ranking executives and their rejuvenation has confirmed. The age of the Culture Minister and three new rectors varies from 39 to 44 years old.