Russia: Exports expand for first time in over two years in November
January 31, 2017
Russia’s external sector is gradually emerging from the doldrums. In November, exports returned to positive territory for the first time since July 2014 and expanded 4.9% annually, reaching USD 26.6 billion. The expansion mainly reflected surging exports of steel and agricultural products, thanks to an increase in the prices of these commodities.
Meanwhile, the slow improvement seen in domestic demand drove imports to increase for a fourth consecutive month in November. Imports increased 6.4% year-on-year to USD 17.5 billion (October: 8.2% year-on-year).
Due to November’s expansion in exports, the trade surplus increased to USD 9.1 billion from USD 6.6 billion in October, recording the highest level in 2016 up to that month. An annual comparison also showed an increase compared to the USD 8.9 billion in November 2015. Due to the improvement in November, the trailing 12-month sum of the trade surplus was USD 89.9 billion, which was virtually unchanged from the reading in October.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist