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Russian central bank admits energy revenues slump

Export revenues dropped 30% compared to an all-time high recorded in 2022, the regulator estimated

Russian export revenues saw a notable drop by almost a third in 2023, according to the preliminary assessment released by the Bank of Russia, which cites a decline in prices for crude oil as one of the key reasons for the decrease.

Last year, export revenues amounted to $422.7 billion compared to $592.1 billion in record-breaking 2022, marking a decline by at least 30%, the regulator said, adding that the figure is the lowest in four years.

At the same time, the country’s imports in monetary terms totaled $304.4 billion, scoring a year-on-year growth of 10%. They returned to the levels recorded in 2021, before the launch of the military operation in Ukraine.

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As a result, the trade surplus in 2023 amounted to $50.2 billion, compared to $238 billion recorded in the previous year.

According to the data tracked by the Russian Ministry of Finance, the average price of Russia’s flagship Urals blend was hovering around $63 per barrel, 17% lower compared to an average of $76.1 recorded in 2022.

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Earlier this week, Maksim Oreshkin, the top economic adviser to President Vladimir Putin, said that hydrocarbons remain a vital part of the country’s economy and provide a significant share of budget revenue. However, he cautioned that energy exports are not promising in the long term.

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In December, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said Russia’s energy sector contributed “about 27% to gross domestic product (GDP).” He added that the proceeds from oil and gas accounted for “nearly 57% of the total export revenue of our entire country.”

Last year, the G7 and EU nations imposed a price limit on Russian seaborne oil sales. The measure bans Western companies from providing insurance and other services to shipments of Russian crude unless the cargo is purchased at or below the $60-per-barrel price cap. Similar restrictions were introduced in February for exports of Russian petroleum products. The measures were intended to reduce Moscow’s energy revenues substantially.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

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January 20, 2024 at 07:53PM
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