State support for JSC "Moloko Buryatii" started to be provided in 2016. Then the agricultural holding, the flagship of the dairy production of the region, was going through hard times.
The problems began in the summer of 2014, when the company launched a modern line for the production of UHT milk Tetra Brik Aseptic Edge. The cost of the entire project was 450 million rubles, and the line was supplied under leasing conditions. The first payment was done in time due to investment loan of "Baikal Bank" in the amount of 144 million rubles.
However, in 2 years, it turned out that due to the fluctuation in the dollar rate, the borrower ceased to cope with the increased payments - by the end of 2016, "Moloko Buryatii" owed "Tetra Pak" 57 million rubles under the lease agreement. The claim of “Tetra Pak” with the requirement to withdraw property from the company was accepted by court to consideration on October 14, 2016.
However, in JSC "Moloko Buryatii" they said that "Tetra Pak" violated the terms of the lease agreement and did not supply a significant part of the equipment. This led to the fact that the equipment did not work in full force for a long time, and the company suffered significant losses.
The government of Buryatia has repeatedly tried to correct the situation with the debts at the enterprise. Thanks to the intervention of the head of the region (at that time – Vyacheslav Nagovitsyn), the parties managed to sign a settlement agreement, under which the holding undertook to pay off the debt until April 2017. And in June, they were given a budget state guarantee for a loan of 204 million rubles.
Delays in payments led to the initiation of a bankruptcy claim against JSC "Moloko Buryatii". The arbitration court of Buryatia accepted the claim on September 12, 2017; the claims were filed by JSC "Joint-stock commercial bank Inkarobank" and "Tetra Pak". The total amount of debt to companies at that time amounted to 60.9 million rubles. The holding also owed to suppliers – as reported in the Ministry of agriculture and food of Buryatia, now the debt of the agricultural holding "Moloko Buryatii" to suppliers is 14.7 million rubles.
Again, the state intervened. First, the government of Buryatia bought the company's equipment to keep it afloat. And one of the last forms of support is a loan through the Guarantee Fund of the Republic in the amount of 250 million. One of the main conditions is to pay off debts.
However, last week Alexey Tsydenov, the acting head of the region, said that there should be no more help. The reason for this was the reduction of the purchase price of milk by the company in the villages and in the Republic to 15 rubles per liter.
"We helped the holding, allocating funds to ensure the purchase of milk in the villages in the Republic. However, 15 rubles is not the price. If the situation doesn't change, under such conditions it is necessary to deprive "Moloko Buryatii" of support”, - stated Tsydenov.
In the holding they denied restrictions in state support and said that all debts on obligations have been paid:
"In March 2018, the company "Moloko Buryatii" was provided with state support of the government of the Republic of Buryatia in the form of a preferential loan in the amount of 250 million rubles. To date, the company has paid more than 50 million rubles. Repayment of the loan is carried out according to the established schedule; the company not only works in full mode, but also increases production volumes. According to the results of the 1st half of 2019, the company "Moloko Buryatii" increased the production of traditional dairy products by 5% to 20% in different categories, compared to the same period in 2018", commented at the plant, emphasizing the development of the site.
However, other regional producers do not share optimism.
"I'm talking about my company, I can't say for sure about others. But the situation in the industry over the past 10 years has deteriorated significantly. Dairy production over the years fell to the minimum, - said the head of one of the agricultural enterprises of the Republic. – There are only a few farms producing milk – they can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Many changed the industry, many just closed. Unfortunately, today we do not have a single farm in the region that could serve as an example for others".
Alexander Ryutin, Director of the Mukhorshibirsky dairy plant, noted the acute shortage of raw materials in the production and the difficulty to compete with Western products. "We have a serious shortage of raw materials in Mukhorshibir district, specifically at our enterprise. In the region there are those who have an excess of milk. But, as far as I understand, it is difficult for them to compete with Western products", said the head of the plant.
According to the Russian Dairy Research Center, in the period from 2014 to 2016, milk processing at the enterprise "Moloko Buryatii" decreased from 6.5 thousand tons to 3.1 thousand per year. In 2018, there was a small increase, but the processing of 3.8 thousand tons of milk per year cannot be compared with the results of 2014.
The Ministry of agriculture of the Republic of Buryatia at the time of publication did not provide operational comment in response to the request of the editorial board.