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

By bne IntelliNews September 22, 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. In 2012, foreign trade surplus growth declined to 2.2% y/y to USD 193.8bn. The surplus growth rate previously 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 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 that 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. 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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