Russia: Exports expand at slowest pace in three months in January
February 28, 2014
In January, exports expanded 1.4% over the same month of the previous year. The reading came in below the 1.9% increase recorded in December and represented the slowest expansion in three months. Imports expanded 0.2% in January, which was well under the 4.7% increase recorded in December. The trade surplus reached USD 17.7 billion in January (January 2013: USD 17.2 billion surplus). The 12-month sum of the trade balance widened in January from the previous month's USD 179 billion to USD 180 billion. The price for Ural oil, Russia's key export commodity, has been broadly stable over the course of the last few weeks despite the recent tension between Russia and Ukraine. Russian troops moved into Crimea on 3 March, which fueled concerns that a conflict could break out. The development caused the price for Ural oil to spike at USD 110.41 per barrel, the highest level since the beginning of the year. Prices eased, however, as tension lessened in the following days, and Ural oil traded at USD 107.30 per barrel on 6 March, which was the same price that had been recorded on the same day of the previous month and was just 0.6% lower on an annual basis. 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