Russia: Exports drop in December
January 27, 2014
In December, exports contracted 1.7% over the same month of the previous year. The drop contrasted the 3.2% increase recorded in November and represents the second contraction in the last three months.
Imports expanded 4.8% in December, which contrasted the 1.3% drop recorded in November. As a result, the trade surplus narrowed to USD 14.0 billion in December (December 2012: USD 16.4 billion surplus). For the full year 2013, the country recorded a USD 177 billion trade surplus, which was down from the USD 192 billion surplus recorded last year and the smallest surplus in three years.
The price for Ural oil, Russia's key export commodity, was broadly stable over the course of the last few weeks. On 6 February, Ural oil traded at USD 107.30 per barrel, which was 0.7% above the price recorded on the same day of the previous month. However, the price was down 7.5% on an annual basis. Lower oil prices do not bode well for Russian export revenues in the coming months.
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect that exports will grow a paltry 2.7% in 2014 and accelerate to a 3.1% expansion in 2015.
Author: Armando Ciccarelli, Head of Data Solutions