Sunday, May 17, 2015

16/5/15: Russian Trade in Goods: 1Q 2015


Per BOFIT latest data, exports of Russian gas were down 10% y/y in 2014 with total of 175bn cubic meters (bcm) of gas exported. exports to Ukraine were down 44% to 15bcm, to Europe and Turkey down 9% to 126bcm. Russian LNG exports stood at around 14bcm in 2014, virtually unchanged on 2013.

Meanwhile, the latest figures for external trade, covering 1Q 2015 show exports of goods down 28% y/y (predominantly due to price effects - ruble devaluation and lower prices charged). Volume of exports actually rose across several categories, including crude oil (+13% y/y in volume), petroleum products (+24% y/y in volume), as well as exports of copper, fertilisers and grain. Share of oil and gas in overall exports remained largely unchanged at around 2/3rds.

Biggest volume of exports went to the EU, as usual, although value of exports shipped to the EU fell by roughly 1/3rd. Overall, EU received about 1.2 of Russian goods exports with APEC taking 20%.

On imports side, the opposite holds: APEC became the largest supplier of goods to the Russian market as imports from the EU dropped 44% y/y in 1Q 2015 more sharply than the overall imports decline of 37% y/y. Imports from China fell by 1/3rd, but China remained the largest single supplier to the Russian markets with 20% share of overall Russian imports of goods.

Ireland's bilateral trade in goods with Russia also suffered in 1Q 2015. Per latest CSO data, released this week, Irish merchandise exports to Russia totalled EUR78mln in 1Q 2015 against EUR157mln in 1Q 2014 - a 50% drop y/y. Irish merchandise imports from Russia totalled EUR52mln over the 1Q 2015, down only 1.6% y/y. As the result, trade balance (merchandise trade only) has deteriorated significantly: in 1Q 2015, Irish trade surplus vis-a-vis Russia stood at EUR104mln, this has now declined to EUR26mln (a drop of 75% y/y).

It is worth noting that in 2008-2009, Irish merchandise exports to Russia declined 30% y/y over 1Q-4Q period.

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