Value of Russian exports falls 35% in Q1 as oil price cap bites -central bank
FILE PHOTO: National flag flies over the Russian Central Bank headquarters in Moscow, Russia May 27, 2022. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov
MOSCOW (Reuters) – The value of Russia’s exports fell 35% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2023, due in part to a Western price cap on some Russian oil products, Russia’s central bank said on Thursday.
A fall in exports and a recovery in imports helped push the rouble this month to its weakest level in more than a year, while a drop in export tax and duty, a large chunk of which comes from oil and gas, has widened Russia’s budget deficit this year and slashed its current account surplus.
“The cost of oil exports decreased both due to lower prices and because of the embargo and price ceiling by a host of countries on Russian oil and oil products,” the central bank said in a report.
It said the price of Brent crude averaged $81 a barrel in the quarter, down 18% year on year.
“Russian oil prices have declined more strongly,” the bank said. “The discount for Russian oil to Brent crude has widened, including because of the price ceiling.”
It added, however, that a drop in oil exports to the European Union had been offset by an increase in sales to Asian countries seeking oil at a discounted price.
As the price of Russian oil has dropped below the Western price cap, large volumes are now not subject to any restrictions, the bank said.