Russia’s foreign trade surplus down by 3.4% y/y in Jan-Feb.

By bne IntelliNews April 18, 2014

Foreign trade surplus decreased by 3.4% y/y in Jan-Feb, amounting to USD 31.3bn, data in a report by RosStat shows. In 2013, foreign trade surplus decreased by 6.9% y/y to USD 179bn. The decline rate of the surplus slowed down after 15% y/y decline seen in H1/13 and Q1/13, and 9% y/y seen in Jan-Sep 2013.

Exports’ decline in Jan-Feb intensified as compared to January to -5.8% y/y, amounting to USD 76bn. Imports went down by 7.5% y/y to USD 44.7bn. To compare, exports in 2013 exports declined by 8.9% y/y to USD 523.3bn, while imports went up by 2.6% y/y to USD 344.3bn.

Exports of fuels and energy sources as usual accounted for most of Russia’s exports in Jan-Feb (72.9% of total) dropping by 8.2% y/y. Out of that exports of crude oil amounted for 32.9% of total exports (down by 11.6% y/y) and exports of natural gas for 16.5% of total exports (up by 5% y/y). Exports of metals and metal products that accounted for 7.4% of Russia’s exports in Jan-Feb also went down by 5.4% y/y.

In Jan-Feb, main imports were machinery, equipment and transport (46.2% of total imports, down by 11.3% y/y), followed by foods and agricultural products (15.4% of total imports, down by 1.2% y/y) and chemical products (15.6% of total, down by 11.2% y/y). Declining imports of machinery and equipment throughout 2013 and intensified in Jan-Feb confirms the data on declining capital investment in Russian industry.

Trade turnover with non-CIS, in Jan-Feb, declined by 6.4% y/y to USD 101.6bn (87.5% of total trade turnover), out of which trade turnover with EU countries went down by 7.1% y/y to USD 58.3bn (50.1% of total turnover). Trade turnover with CIS countries was at USD 14.5bn (12.5% of total), going down by 18.8% y/y. China accounted for 12% of Russia's trade turnover (USD 13.9bn), going up by 4.1% y/y in Jan-Feb.

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