What is happening at MTZ and BelAZ the leaders of which are detained

    On November 11, the Telegram channel of the Ministry of Internal Affairs reported on the arrest of the heads of MTZ (Minsk Tractor Works) and BelAZ (Belarusian Autombile Plant), a total of 7 people. They are suspected of bribe-taking on an especially large scale.

    According to the accounting records of MTZ, as of June 30, short-term and long-term liabilities of the plant reached BYN 1.2 billion: BYN 867 million and BYN 384 million, accordingly. In December last year, the amount of debt was higher – BYN 1.3 billion.

    In January – June of this year, the net profit of MTZ amounted to BYN 94.8 million, a year ago for the same period the plant made a loss of BYN 53.5 million. The total net profit of MTZ for the last year amounted to BYN 8.2 million.

    For the first quarter of this year, the debt of BelAZ amounted to BYN 1.3 billion; a year earlier, for the same period it was 1.4 billion. At the end of March, the net profit amounted to BYN 36 million; a year earlier, the enterprise made a loss of BYN 60 million.

    Export of tractors and trucks

    The National Statistics Committee of the Republic of Belarus (Belstat) has closed statistics on the export of a number of categories of goods: oil products, potash fertilizers, tractors, trucks and dump trucks. However, the export of tractors and trucks from Belarus can be traced according to statistics from other countries. Russia is one of the largest buyers of this category of goods.

    In January – July, Russia purchased Belarusian goods worth $8.7 billion, which is $1.6 billion more than in the same period last year. In August, imports to Russia from Belarus amounted to $1.37 billion. 13% of these imports are transport vehicles, and this category includes tractors and trucks.

    Last year Belarus sold tractors worth $593.6 million, with Russia becoming the main buyer. This year, officials stated that they had signed a contract with Cuba to sell 260 tractors, although no sales were made to the country last year. This is about $3 million based on the average prices for these goods.

    In total, last year Belarus sold 435 dump trucks to different countries. Most of the dump trucks were bought by Russia ($106 million), India ($83 million) and Uzbekistan ($55 million). Belarus sold dump trucks worth $3.3 million to the European Union. This is only 10 units. Poland and Bulgaria bought trucks from the EU.

    Staff is decreasing

    According to the securities portal (portal.gov.by), in 2015, the number of staff at Minsk Tractor Works was 17,891 people, in 2020 – 15,753 people. For 5 years, the staff has decreased by more than 2,000 people, or 12%. Since last year, BelAZ has lost 571 employees.

    And what about sanctions?

    Minsk Tractor Works has not yet been put under sanctions. However, sanctions have been applied to Aleksandr Zaitsev’s company Sokhra LLC. Officially, his main activity is intermediary services in the supply of Belarusian equipment to Asia and Africa. Inter alia, Sokhra sells products of MTZ, BelAZ, MAZ, Amkodor and other manufacturers.

    Now BelAZ is under sanctions, and the main suppliers of engines from the EU and the United States refused to cooperate with the plant. Thus, the plant switches to Russian engines.