Russia’s foreign trade surplus down by 15% y/y in H1.

By bne IntelliNews August 20, 2013

Foreign trade surplus decreased by 15% y/y in H1, 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. In 2012, foreign trade surplus growth declined to 2.2% y/y to USD 193.8bn. 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 H1 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 H1 (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 accounted for 8.1% of Russia’s exports in H1 dropping by 14.7% y/y.

In H1, main imports were machinery, equipment and transport (48.8% of total imports, inching up by 1% y/y), followed by foods and agricultural products (13.4% of total imports, up by 5.2% y/y) and chemical products (15.8% of total, up by 7.5% y/y). Flat imports of machinery confirm the data on stagnating capital investment by Russian industry in H1/13. At the same time the pace of food import declined somewhat in H1, supporting lower inflationary expectations from food prices in H2/13.

Trade turnover with non-CIS in H1 slipped by 0.5% y/y to USD 351bn (87% of total trade turnover), out of which trade turnover with EU countries expectedly inched up by 1.4% y/y to USD 202.7bn (50.1% of total turnover). Trade turnover with CIS countries was at USD 53.65bn (13.3% of total), down by 9.6% y/y.

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