Russia Registers $13.1bn Current Account Surplus in 2021

According to preliminary estimates from the CBR, Russia’s current account surplus in 2021 amounted to $13.1bn (it was $6.8bn in January), down from $17.7bn in 2020, bne IntelliNews reports. The year-on-year decrease was primarily due to the trade surplus shrinking to $17.6bn from $23.6bn, which in turn owed mainly to lower oil prices.

Capital outflow from the private sector in 2021 amounted to $12bn ($8bn in January), down from $14.7bn a year earlier, which is a good result given the persisting sanctions risks and increased volatility in global markets.

According to our estimates, if the oil price averages $55 per barrel this year, the current account surplus in 2021 could reach $50bn, up from $32.2bn in 2020, while the CBR could need to buy about $15bn under the fiscal rule. An average oil price of $65/bbl would bring the surplus to $66.4bn and the CBR’s purchases to $32.3bn.