Russia: Export growth accelerates in October
Merchandise exports totaled USD 41.3 billion in October, which represented a robust 30.8% expansion from the USD 31.6 billion sum recorded in the same month in 2017. Export growth came in above September’s 25.6% increase. Despite geopolitical uncertainties, Russia’s export growth has held up well thanks to solid overseas sales of metals, food and agricultural products.
Meanwhile, imports rebounded to a 0.5% expansion, contrasting the 3.8% fall recorded in September. Downbeat consumer sentiment, a weak ruble and soft domestic dynamics have weighed on import growth in recent months. Accordingly, the trade surplus came in at USD 19.7 billion in October, which was significantly above the USD 10.1 billion surplus recorded in October 2017 and marked the best reading since April 2014.
The trailing 12-month sum of the trade balance testifies the external sector’s ongoing recovery after a commodity-price induced slump: In October, the trailing 12-month sum of the trade balance came in at USD 182 billion, the best reading since March 2015.