Russia’s CB: Goods foreign trade surplus down by 12% y/y in Jan-July, exports shrink 2.8% y/y.

By bne IntelliNews September 12, 2013

According to the data by the Central Bank of Russia (CBR), surplus of foreign trade of goods decreased by 12% y/y to USD 119.6bn in Jan-July 2013. Exports in Jan-July declined by 2.78% y/y to USD 304.4bn.

In July alone trade balance declined by 2.5% m/m, but picked up by 15.5% y/y after thirteen consecutive months of posting y/y decrease. Exports in July inched up by 5.5% y/y and imports increased by 1.6% y/y, amounting to USD 43.5bn and USD 30.14bn, respectively.

The general negative trend for exports did not get reversed in July and the 15.5% y/y growth of the trade balance in the reporting month is to be attributed to the base effect. In July and August 2012 the trade balance dropped by 20.5% y/y and 21.6% y/y.  

To remind, in 2012 foreign trade surplus growth declined by 2.2% y/y to USD 193.8bn. The surplus growth rate previously slowed down throughout 2012 and 2011: to compare, the surplus increased by 10.2% y/y in H1/12, 26% y/y in Q1/12, 19% y/y in H1/11, and 31% y/y in 2011. Exports in 2012 made up USD 529.3bn increasing by weak 1.4% y/y, while imports increased by 3.6% y/y to USD 335.4bn. Foreign trade surplus increased by 31% y/y in 2011 to USD 198.8bn vs. USD 151.62bn in 2010 and USD 111.6bn surplus in 2009.

RosStat’s estimates published previously showed that foreign trade surplus decreased by 15% y/y in Jan-June 2013, the surplus amounting to USD 91.6bn, data in a report by RosStat shows. The decline rate of the surplus slowed down somewhat after 18% y/y decline seen in Jan-May and remained the same as 15% y/y decline seen in Q1/13.

Exports in Jan-June 2013 declined by 3.8% y/y to USD 252.5bn, while imports went up by 4.4% y/y to USD 160.9bn. To compare, exports in 2012 made up USD 529.3bn increasing by weak 1.4% y/y, while imports increased by 3.6% y/y to USD 335.4bn.

Exports of fuels and energy sources as usual accounted for most of Russia’s exports in Jan-June (71.3% of total) going down by 2.4% y/y (down by 5.6% y/y in Jan-May). Out of that exports of crude oil amounted for 33.1% of total exports (down by strong 8.3% y/y) and exports of natural gas to 12.6% of total exports (flat y/y). It must be noted that y/y growth rates of both oil and gas are in consistent decline since H2/12, dragging overall exports growth rate down as well. Exports of metals and metal products that accounted for 8.1% of Russia’s exports in Jan-June dropping by 14.7% y/y. 

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