30 May 2023, Tuesday, 5:01
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Some Verbal Balancing By MTZ

Some Verbal Balancing By MTZ

The “large-scale project” of the Minsk enterprise turned out to be a warehouse for non-demanded products.

At the Minsk Tractor Plant (MTZ), they announced the final stages of the “large-scale” construction of a logistics center. According to Yury Vlasavets, Deputy Technical Director for Construction, the facility should be commissioned on July 31, 2023. Investments in this project are kept secret, but after its commissioning, the productivity of receiving and shipping products should increase by 2-2.5 times.

I contacted the workers of the enterprise, who answered my question: “Why does an enterprise under sanctions need a new logistics center?” At the first glance, it may seem that the enterprise is experiencing economic growth and going along the way out of the crisis, but in fact, the so-called logistics center at the time of the start of construction was called by its real name — a tractor kit warehouse. Among the workers and middle managers, it remained such.

The construction of the warehouse began even before the imposition of sanctions, in the spring of 2021, on the territory of the conservation and packaging workshop. According to the plan, the building will occupy an area of 8,780 square meters, and its technical function, in addition to marking and unloading, is the conservation and storage of equipment. Now, it seems, the functionality will be greatly limited, and the logistics center will justify its working name — a warehouse for non-demanded products.

And a week earlier, I learned that MTZ did not sell, but simply handed over 120 tractors to agricultural enterprises in the Novosibirsk region and the Omsk region. However, I did not manage to get an answer to my question: “How many tractors were handed over to Belarusian farmers?” I decided to calculate how much money the company is losing on 120 tractors. Taking the average price of a Belarus tractor of $29,480.4 and multiplying it by 120 tractors, we get $3,537,000. I think that a Belarusian enterprise is not so rich as to give such generous gifts to enterprises of a foreign country. Unless, of course, the warehouses are packed to capacity.

MTZ could bring good profits with adequate management, and the construction of such a logistics center would be justified. In 2020, an official dealer of Belarusian tractors MTZ Traktorius appeared in Lithuania, which could increase supplies to the European market. However, after only 2 years, it was on the stop list. For 2021, its revenue was €1.3 million, but a net loss of €18,000 was recorded. Only the first half of the year is taken into account, since the bank account of the dealer of the Belarusian manufacturer was frozen back in June 2021.

Sanctions had a strong impact on the enterprise, and MTZ management was unable to diversify its market. As a result, it became necessary to fill warehouses or provide free assistance to farmers in other countries. Instead of trying to improve the situation, the company's management decided to call the warehouse expansion simply a “logistics center”, which sounds nice, but really only means an increase in warehouse space.

Artsiom Chernikau, exclusively for the Basta! Telegram channel