Russia: Exports increase for second month in a row
August 30, 2013
In July, exports expanded 4.7% over the same month last year. The reading came in above the 1.8% rise recorded in June and represents the second consecutive increase following seven uninterrupted periods of contraction.
Imports rose 0.7% in July, which was down from the 3.6% increase recorded in June. As a result, the trade surplus widened to USD 13.1 billion in July (July 2012: USD 11.5 billion surplus). The 12-month sum of the trade balance rose from USD 176 billion last month to the current USD 177 billion.
Meanwhile, the price for Ural oil, Russia's key export commodity, picked up in recent months. On 4 September, Ural oil traded at USD 115.54 per barrel, which was 4.4% above the price on the same day of the previous month and 0.9% higher on a year-on-year basis. The potential for a U.S. military intervention in Syria has contributed to geopolitical tensions in the Middle East, which will likely translate into a pick-up in oil prices in the coming months thus providing a boost to Russia's export revenues.
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect that exports will grow a paltry 0.5% this year and then accelerate to a 4.3% expansion in 2014.
Author: Armando Ciccarelli, Head of Data Solutions