Foreign trade both in goods and services posted a surplus of USD125m in January, according to the preliminary figures reported by the central bank today. That’s after growing deficits in September-December on the back of rising consumer demand and capital investment. A year earlier, in January 2017, foreign trade was in deficit of USD20m.
Exports grew faster than imports in January. Export growth accelerated to 33% y/y in January from 28% in December, while import growth slowed to 27% from 29%. Merchandise exports in particular jumped by 37% y/y, likely on the back of fuel export growth, as a year earlier Belarus’s export-oriented refineries suffered from oil export cuts by Russia. As a result, the merchandise trade gap more than halved y/y to USD113m. The service trade surplus amounted to USD237m in January 2018, which was USD13m more than a year earlier.