Russia Trade Balance March 2021

Russia: Merchandise exports jump in March

Merchandise exports jumped 19.0% year-on-year in March (February: +2.0% year-on-year). March’s reading marked the strongest expansion since November 2018. Meanwhile, merchandise imports soared 25.0% on an annual basis in March (February: +13.3% yoy), marking the best result since July 2017.

As a result, the merchandise trade balance improved from the previous month, recording a USD 10.0 billion surplus in March (February 2021: USD 8.3 billion surplus; March 2020: USD 9.5 billion surplus). Lastly, the trend pointed up, with the 12-month trailing merchandise trade balance recording a USD 86.4 billion surplus in March, compared to the USD 85.8 billion surplus in February.

Looking forward, the external sector recovery should continue in Q2 supported by higher global crude prices and a gradual easing in domestic oil production cuts. Moreover, accelerating rollout of Covid-19 vaccines and recovering global economic activity should shore up external demand.

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