Oil Export Slump Slashes Russia’s Q1 Foreign Trade Surplus

MOSCOW, May 8 (RIA Novosti) – Falling oil exports to Europe and ex-Soviet republics were among factors that slashed Russia’s foreign trade surplus by 13.6 percent in January-March 2013 year on year to $54 billion, according to data published by the Federal Customs Service on Wednesday.

“The foreign trade balance was positive at $54 billion, or $8.6 billion less than in January-March 2012,” the Federal Customs Service said in a statement.

Russia’s foreign trade surplus with CIS countries, a loose association that includes most of the former Soviet republics, except for the Baltic states and Georgia, declined by $1.2 billion to $7.7 billion, and with non-CIS countries by $7.4 billion to $46.3 billion.

Russia’s exports in the first quarter of 2013 fell by 5.2 percent to $124.4 billion while imports grew by 2.5 percent to $70.4 billion. Non-CIS countries accounted for 86.9 percent of Russia’s exports and 87.8 percent of its imports, while the share of CIS states was 13.1 percent and 12.2 percent, respectively.

Fuel and energy exports accounted for 75.3 percent of Russia’s exports to non-CIS countries in January-March 2013 compared with 74.4 percent in the same period last year, while the share of these exports to CIS countries stood at 54.4 percent compared with 61.8 percent a year earlier.

Russia’s oil exports to non-CIS countries declined by 2.1 percent year on year in January-March 2013 to $40.395 billion, while oil exports to CIS states fell by 8.1 percent to $2.726 billion. Overall, Russia exported 57.143 million metric tons of crude oil worth $43.122 billion in the first quarter of 2013.

The European Union remained Russia’s largest economic partner, accounting for 50 percent of the country’s commodity turnover in the first three months of 2013.

Russia’s major foreign trade partners in the reporting period were China, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Turkey, Japan, Poland, the United States, South Korea and France.


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