Russia: Export growth softens slightly in March
Merchandise exports totaled USD 36.9 billion in March, recording a healthy 17.8% expansion from the USD 31.3 billion observed in the same month of 2017. However, March’s growth was softer than February’s 20.8% increase. The strong performance was underpinned by higher commodity prices and a healthy global backdrop, which has driven a surge in Russian exports over the past year.
Imports increased 15.2% year-on-year in March to come in at USD 21.9 billion, easing from February’s 22.8% increase. The trade surplus came in at USD 15.0 billion, which was well above the USD 12.3 billion surplus recorded in March 2017.
In line with March’s solid performance, the trailing 12-month sum of the trade balance rose to USD 125 billion, up from February’s USD 122 billion and the best reading since March 2016.