Russia: Exports record largest drop in three years in February
March 25, 2013
In February, exports fell 11.4% over the same month last year, which was down from the 1.7% drop recorded in January. The reading represented the fourth consecutive decline in exports, in addition to marking the largest contraction in more than three years. On the other hand, imports rose 5.6%, which was down from the 10.1% increase recorded in January. As a result, the trade surplus narrowed to USD 13.7 billion in February, driving the 12-month moving sum of the trade balance down to USD 184.6 billion (January: USD 191.2 billion).
Meanwhile, the price for Ural oil - Russia's key export commodity - has moderated in recent weeks. On 25 March, Ural oil traded at USD 105.99 per barrel, which was 5.9% below the price reached on the same day of the previous month and down 13.6% on a year-on-year basis.
FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists expect exports will grow a paltry 1.6% this year before accelerating to a 4.5% expansion in 2014.
Author: Armando Ciccarelli, Head of Data Solutions