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Trade Surplus Widens to $18.6Bln in December

Russia's trade surplus widened to $18.6 billion in December from $15.3 billion in November, the Economic Development Ministry said in its weekly report on the economic situation, Interfax reported Monday.

The trade surplus narrowed to $195.3 billion in 2012 from $198.2 billion in 2011, the ministry said. Exports were an estimated $50 billion in December, down 2.6 percent from the same month of 2011 but up 10 percent from $45.8 billion in November 2012.

Last year, exports grew 1.7 percent year on year to $530.7 billion. Oil exports fell 10.3 percent year on year in terms of tonnage in December, natural gas exports rose 6.5 percent and bituminous coal exports grew 13.1 percent.

Coal exports grew 17.1 percent, but oil exports fell 2.3 percent, and natural gas exports fell 6.1 percent. Imports amounted to $31.4 billion in December, up 2.3 percent year on year and up 4.3 percent from $30.1 billion in November.

In 2012, imports grew 3.6 percent in the year to an estimated $335.4 billion. The Economic Development Ministry also said that industrial producer prices fell for the third month in a row in December, declining 1.1 percent, after decreasing 1.2 percent in November and 1.6 percent in October.

The ministry cited data provided by the State Statistics Service. "In December, the producer price index was 98.9 percent due to slower growth in demand on global and domestic markets," the report said.

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