MOSCOW, November 8 (RIA Novosti) – Persistently high global oil prices helped Russia increase its foreign trade surplus by 5 percent in January-September 2012 year-on-year to $159.9 billion, according to data published by the Federal Customs Service on Thursday.
“The foreign trade balance was positive at $159.9 billion or $7.6 billion up on January-September 2011,” the Federal Customs Service said in a statement.
Imports into Russia grew by 2 percent year-on-year to $225.8 billion in January-September 2012, while exports from Russia rose by 3.2 percent to $261.4 billion, increasing the country’s foreign trade turnover by 5.9 percent to $385.7 billion.
Fuel and energy products accounted for 73.2 percent of Russia’s exports to countries other than former Soviet republics in January-September 2012, compared with 73 percent in the same period last year.
In January-September 2012, Russia’s exports of fuel and energy products declined by 4.3 percent in terms of volume but grew by 4.3 percent in terms of value.
The European Union remained Russia’s largest economic partner, accounting for 48.8 percent of the country’s commodity turnover in the first three quarters of 2012 compared with 47.9 percent in the same period last year, followed by APEC countries with 24.1 percent (23.9 percent in the same period last year).
Russia’s major foreign trade partners in the reporting period were China with trade volume of $64.8 billion (up 7.5 percent from January-September 2011), the Netherlands with $61.5 billion (up 24.7 percent), Germany with $54.6 billion (up 5.6 percent), Italy with $32.1 billion (up 0.1 percent), Turkey with $25.6 billion (up 14.4 percent), Japan with $22.8 billion (up 6.7 percent), the US with $21 billion (down 5.6 percent), Poland with $20.4 billion (up 3 percent), France with $18.1 billion (down 16.5 percent) and South Korea with $17.8 billion (down 1.7 percent).