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Russia’s current-account surplus sees massive drop

The decline in prices for export goods affected revenues, according to the central bank

Russia’s current-account surplus shrank by a whopping 73% over the first quarter of this year compared to the same period last year, according to central bank data released on Tuesday.

The surplus in January-March of this year stood at $18.6 billion, which is $51 billion less than in 2022, the regulator said in a statement published on its website.

The central bank attributed the drop to a “significant decrease in the value of exports mainly due to the drop in prices,” and a “decrease in the amount of dividends declared by Russian companies” over the reporting period.

The volume of imports of goods has been restored to last year’s values, the regulator noted.

Russia has seen a sharp drop in revenues due to international sanctions and restrictions on energy exports. After the US, EU, and allies imposed a ban on seaborne oil imports and a price cap on Russian crude last year, the country was forced to sell crude at a discount in order to find new buyers. Russia’s former main natural gas buyer, the EU, began to source energy supplies from elsewhere.

According to Finance Ministry figures released earlier this month, oil and gas revenues dropped by 45% in the first quarter, compared to the same period in 2022.

READ MORE: Russian central bank rules out currency restrictions

The International Monetary Fund warned on Tuesday that lower energy revenues could see Russia’s current-account surplus shrink further and its federal budget deficit increase from the current $29 billion reported last week.

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

April 12, 2023 at 06:30PM

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