12 Oct 2010 16:35

Russian trade surplus contracts 24.3% to $8.3 bln in August

MOSCOW. Oct 12 (Interfax) - Russia's foreign trade surplus - as determined by balance of payments - contracted 24.3% to $8.292 billion in August from $10.959 billion in July, the Central Bank of Russia said.

Results for August, as with July, include the CB's estimate of Russian trade with Kazakhstan, which was tabulated owing a lack of official statistical information following the cancellation of customs declarations of goods on the Russian-Kazakh border in the framework of the Customs Union as of July 1, 2010.

Russia's trade surplus in August 2010 decreased by 30% in comparison with the same period of 2009 ($11.77 billion). This was the lowest level since April 2009, when the trade surplus came to $6.3 billion.

Total exports went up in August by 0.4% to $32.112 billion from $31.956 billion in comparison with July; total imports went up by 13.4% to $23.82 billion from $20.997 billion rubles. Total imports was at its highest since January 2008, when they came to $23.985 billion.

The foreign trade surplus for January-August 2010 came to $105.2 billion, which was a 61.3% increase from the same period of 2009 when it stood at $65.2 billion.

Exports in January-August 2010 reached $253.913 billion, up 41.8% in comparison with $179.077 billion posted for the same period of 2009. Total imports during the period came to $148.699 billion, up 30.6% from $113.848 billion in January-September 2009.

CB Chairman Sergei Ignatyev said at the end of September that the trade surplus has decreased since the start of 2010 owing to rising imports. The average monthly surplus came to over $11 billion for the first quarter. However, this figure for the last three months (June, July and August) came to only $2.8 billion.

The main factors for import growth were renewed economic growth, rising real household income and the rising rate of the ruble, which took place until May, Ignatyev said.