The Russian economy continues to live beyond their means and lose currency: export revenues are stagnating along with oil prices, while purchases of foreign imported equipment, food and consumer products has reached crisis proportions.In July, Russia has earned on export of goods 24.7 billion dollars, estimated by the Central Bank. The volume of foreign exchange earnings fell 20% compared to the previous month.
Expenditure on imports also remained unchanged – of 20.77 billion dollars. In annual terms, the volume jumped to 24% and returned to the level of 2014 – then, if oil is more expensive than $ 100 per barrel Russia monthly imported goods in 18-22 billion.
According to the FCS, the supply from abroad of fruit jumped by 1.5 times and grain, 46.1%, and meat by 35%, dairy products – by 29.7%, medicine 30%, clothes – by 24%, footwear – by 38.4%, engineering products – almost doubled.
As a result, the trade balance – the difference between income from foreign trade and imports – amounted to 3,972 billion. Compared to the previous year foreign exchange earnings of the Russian economy has collapsed twice. According to Central Bank statistics, the July result is the worst since April 2003.
Profit from trade with foreign countries imploded even faster – 2,2 times, and its amount – 2,391 billion – was the lowest since 2002. “The prices for oil in July was slightly higher than in June,” says the analyst of FC “URALSIB” Irina Lebedeva.
The remaining from foreign trade profit is completely gone from the country, given the banking flows, investment spending, spending on services and payment of external debt. Moreover, in July, the economy lost $ 1 billion more than it earned in the same amount the Central Bank estimated the current account deficit of the balance of payments.
In August, the improvement has not occurred, the balance was again negative, and according to the rapid assessment of the regulator amounted to $ 1.2 billion.
Cumulatively over the summer, the hole in the balance of payments reached $ 6.2 billion – a record for all time, available on the website of the Central Bank statistics.
Similar situation, though on a smaller scale, was observed in the third quarter of 2013, and before that – just before the 1998 default, each time accompanied by the decline of the Russian currency, the leading expert of the “center of development” HSE Sergey Pukhov: rising dollar discourages the people and businesses hunt to buy imported, the outflow decreased, and the balance has leveled off.
But this is not happening: “no money, but the ruble kept” ironically Pukhov.
The “hole” while covers private capital flows, says Lebedeva from URALSIB: in July and August it amounted to 2.1 billion dollars. “Since the end of August, we saw growing demand for OFZs from non-residents, they could ensure the flow, which allowed the ruble to strengthen,” she says.
When foreign exchange earnings of the economy is close to zero, the exchange rate becomes a hostage of these “hot money” that flows in Russia for the games at a high rate of the Central Bank: if the flows will unfold in reverse, ruble threatens to fall, warns the chief economist of ING Bank in Russia and CIS Dmitry Field.
In these conditions, “bombshell” for the market it becomes possible ban on the purchase of Russian sovereign debt, which in the framework of the law on sanctions assigned to work on the U.S. Treasury.
“If such restrictions are imposed, the foreign funds will start to sell ruble-denominated assets and to convert rubles into dollars. And that the risk of a sharp exit from the “carry trade” becomes the primary for the Russian ruble,” warns nachalniy the foreign exchange and money market Metallinvestbank Sergey Romanchuk.
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