Russia Trade Balance


Trade surplus widens in December

In December, exports added 17.0% over the same month the previous year to reach USD 49.9 billion. The rise was nearly half the 34.4% expansion registered in November and marked the slowest increase in exports since January 2011. Meanwhile, imports rose 13.0% year-on-year to reach USD 30.6 billion, which constituted a moderation compared to the 22.7% increase recorded in November. Despite the deceleration in exports, the trade surplus widened from USD 17.4 billion in November to USD 19.3 billion in December. Export revenues benefited from higher prices for Ural oil, Russia's key export commodity, at the end of the 2011. On 30 December, Ural oil traded at USD 105.84 per barrel, which was up 15.4% from the price recorded at the end of 2010. Oil prices have continued to pick up at the beginning of 2012, with Ural oil trading at USD 110.56 per barrel on 31 January, which was up 16.3% over the same day in 2011 and 4.5% above the end-of-December reading.

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