Russia: Export growth stays strong in November
Merchandise exports totaled USD 40.5 billion in November, which represented a solid 21.0% expansion from the USD 33.4 billion sum recorded in the same month in 2017. Export growth, however, was below October’s robust 30.8% increase. Despite geopolitical uncertainties, Russia’s export growth has held up well thanks to solid overseas sales of mining and agricultural products.
Meanwhile, imports contracted 1.9% in November, recording the third fall in four months. 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 19.0 billion in November, which was significantly above the USD 11.5 billion surplus recorded in November 2017.
The trailing 12-month sum of the trade balance testifies the external sector’s ongoing recovery after a commodity-price induced slump: In November, the trailing 12-month sum of the trade balance came in at USD 190 billion, the best reading since March 2015.