OREANDA-NEWS. On 19 May 2008 was announced, that total volume of transactions at Belarusian Mercantile Exchange rose 100% on the year in January-March 2008 to 925 billion Belarusian rubles (Br), according to a bulletin of the exchange.

In the period, there were 38,500 transactions and 4,405 bidders.

Wood and timber sales increased 34% on the year to 210 billion rubles. There were 5,100 transactions with wood. Exports via the exchange reached 0.1 million euros.

Round timber sales rose 29% on the year in January-March to 588,600 cubic meters, and sales of sawn timber hiked 68% to 51,100 cubic meters.

The first quarter saw a decrease in demand for Belarusian wood and lower export prices in all categories due to current European tendencies. Europe is the chief buyer of Belarusian wood products.

Metal and charred coal trading at the exchange doubled to 32,100 transactions worth 423.1 billion rubles. Ferrous metals accounted for 86.9% of the total with 367.9 billion rubles, up 88%. Sales totaled 113,948 tonnes, compared to 76,786 tonnes in January-March 2007.

Marketing specialists note a steady increase in metal prices. Average weighted angle bar prices rose 16%, channel bar prices increased 13% and sheet products prices [hot-rolled and cold-rolled] went up 12%.

The volume of transactions with farm produce was close to tripling in the period to 1,304 deals worth 291.4 billion rubles. Farm produce accounted for 31.5% of all sales at the exchange in the first quarter of 2008, up from 26.4% in January-March 2007.

Cheese accounted for 36% of food sales, powdered milk for 22%, butter for 20%, casein for 8%, and flour for 4.5% and oilseed meal for 4%.

Cheese sales via the exchange amounted to 9,000 tonnes, powdered milk sales 8,800 tonnes, butter sales 7,450 tonnes, flour sales 22,160 tonnes and rawhide sales 144 tonnes.

The total volume of transactions at OAO Belarusian Mercantile Exchange rose 150% on the year in January-December 2007 to 2.897 trillion rubles. In the period, there were 108,580 transactions and 3,955 bidders.