Russia: Trade surplus narrows to lowest level in almost two years
August 24, 2012
In July, exports were unchanged at the USD 42.0 billion recorded last year. The flat reading represents an improvement compared to the 7.7% contraction registered in June. Meanwhile, imports expanded 9.5% to USD 30.1 billion, contrasting June's 3.4% decrease. As a result, the trade surplus narrowed to USD 11.9 billion in July, which represents a deterioration over the USD 14.5 billion surplus registered in the same month last year and marks the smallest surplus since November 2010. Meanwhile, the price for Ural oil - Russia's key export commodity - picked up in recent weeks, as the EU ban on Iranian oil, approved in January and which came into force on 1 July, spurred demand for Russian crude. On 4 September, Ural oil traded at USD 115.28 per barrel, which was 4.8% above the price reached on the same day of the previous month and up 8.9% on a year-to-date basis. If the upward trend continues, export revenues are likely to pick-up going forward.
Author: Armando Ciccarelli, Head of Data Solutions