According to the CBR, the trade surplus in March jumped to USD 19.7bn, from the
In separate news, the Federal Customs Service has published its first estimate for April
Ultimate message of the recent external trade report is that at the beginning of this year following the rouble weakness internal rebalancing kicked off and will likely translate into a
The latter was greatly driven by almost 45% YoY increase in oil products exports. Such a scale of YoY increase looks compensative for a 16% YoY plunge in February, thereby in total over 1Q14 oil products exports advanced at a more reasonable pace of 12.4% YoY. Note that YoY upturn in oil products exports will likely persist (primarily on expanding volumes YoY (new production capacity)) and offset contracting crude oil exports.
As for April, faster and broad based drop in imports with even food imports started to decline (on imposed ban on EU meat imports) alongside with a spike in gas exports (according to MinEnergy, +17.4% YoY; partly owing to beneficial base effect), despite normalized exports of oil products, might have supported external trade surplus near elevated levels.
Looking forward, we expect further internal rebalancing with dropped imports and stagnant exports that will help the rouble to stabilize near a new equilibrium.