According to the central bank, despite Western attempts to isolate the Russian economy, the country’s current account surplus reached a record high in 2022 because of a decline in imports and strong oil and gas exports.
Russia’s current account, which measures the difference between all monetary inflows and outflows through transfers, trade, and investments, totaled $227.4 billion in 2018, an increase of 86% from 2021.
Following the imposition of broad sanctions by the West against Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine, Russian imports fell precipitously last year along with a flight of Western companies.
However, the Kremlin has tried to offset the loss of cash from its oil and gas exports to Europe by shifting its focus to China, India, and other Asian countries.
According to data from Chinese customs, trade between China and Russia reached a record high of $190 billion last year.
Moscow’s trade balance, which measures the difference between total exports and imports, increased to $282.3 billion in 2022 from $170.1 billion the year before while imports decreased.
While imports gradually increased in the second half of the year, according to the central bank, stronger commodity prices throughout 2022 contributed to a rise in the current account.
The complete implementation of Western and Japanese oil sanctions is expected to put a new strain on Russia’s export earnings in 2023.
Beginning on February 5, the Group of Seven major economies will extend their oil embargo to cover Russian oil products as well as crude.
According to analysts, this could cause Russia’s oil production to drop by up to 1 million barrels per day (bpd) in the first quarter of 2023.
According to a senior Russian source, an official prediction predicts a substantial decline in Russia’s oil product production this year, from 272 million tonnes to 230 million.