28 Jul 2010 15:43


MOSCOW. July 28 (Interfax) - Russia's trade surplus totaled $10.8 billion in June, up from $9.1 billion in June 2009, Deputy Economic Development Minister Andrei Klepach said at a briefing on Tuesday.

Exports in June totaled $30.7 billion (compared with $24.5 billion in June 2009) and imports amounted to $19.9 billion ($15.4 billion), according to ministry estimates.

Exports in the second quarter totaled $95.9 billion, 40.8% more than in the same quarter last year and 4% more than in the first quarter of 2010.

Imports totaled $58.5 billion, 33.2% more year-on-year and 28% more than in the first quarter.

Much of the increase in consumer demand in the second quarter was met with imports, which is a risk factor for the economic recovery, Klepach said.

Significant ruble weakening, which could help make Russian industry more competitive, seems unlikely under current exchange rate policy, he said.

H1 exports were up 50% year-on-year at $188.2 billion, including increases of 53.6% ($161.6 billion) in exports to countries outside the Commonwealth of Independent States and 32% ($26.6 billion) to CIS countries, according to the ministry's figures. The share of non-CIS countries of Russia's exports increased 1.9 of a percentage point and those to CIS countries decreased commensurately.

The steep rise in export value was attributable to substantial price increases for the country's main export goods, particularly oil and non-ferrous metals.

The price for Urals oil was $74.25 per barrel in June, 8.7% up year-on-year and 1.2% higher than in May. The average price in the first half was $75.9 per barrel on the world market, or almost 50% up from the average price in H1 2009.

According to the London Metal Exchange, June prices for nickel and copper were up 29.6% year-on-year, aluminum - 22.7%, and ferrous metals 12.0%. Compared to May, nickel prices were down 11.9%, aluminum 5.3%, copper 4.9%, and ferrous metals 14.7%.

The average H1 price for aluminum was up 50% year-on-year, copper and nickel 80%.

The average Q1 contract price for Russian natural gas at the German border, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), was $273.2 per thousand cubic meters, a year-on-year decrease of 45.7%. The natural gas price was up 6.7% in Q2 from Q1 at $291.4 per 1,000 m3. The June price was 2.4% higher than in May, but was 6.3% down from June of last year.

Initial figures indicate that June exports of oil, natural gas, and bituminous coal were down year-on-year by a respective 3.6%, 8.5%, and 9.9%. June oil exports dipped 0.8% from May, natural gas 9.6%, and bituminous coal 11.8%.

On average for H1, exports of natural gas were up 42.0% year-on-year and bituminous coal 13.3%, but oil exports were 0.9% down.

Imports during the first half were up 26.4% year-on-year at $104.2 billion, including increases of 22.9% for imports from non-CIS countries ($88.7 billion) and 51.1% from CIS countries ($15.5 billion), according to the ministry.

Federal Customs Service (FCS) stats show that imports from non-CIS countries in June were up 32.1% year-on-year in terms of value. Large increases were observed for textile products and footwear (80%), machinery (34.6%), chemicals (30%), and foodstuffs (3.5%).

Compared to May, the value of non-CIS import was up 7.1% in June, that of machinery 5.4%, and of textile products and footwear 1.5%, but of food goods and raw material for their product - down 25.4%.