The balance of payments surplus of Russia could hit a historic high this year, amounting to $ 200-$ 300 billion, business news outlet RBC reported on Monday. Economists polled by RBC have predicted record capital inflows into the country, despite the tightening Western sanctions.
They pointed to major factors behind the inflow, such as the increase in the value of Russian energy exports, and a reduction in merchandise imports to Russia by up to 50%.
According to a Bloomberg analysis, Russia will get an estimated $ 321 billion in energy exports revenue in 2022, marking a surge of more than a third compared to last year. That’s despite the huge discounts the country provides. The Russian Ministry of Finance said last week that, on average, Russian Urals oil cost over $ 89 per barrel in March, which is a 40% rise year-on-year.
The IIF said that the number of oil tankers moored in Russian ports awaiting departure is only slightly less than in the same period in previous years. Data by TankerTrackers, a company that tracks the movement of oil tankers around the world, showed that Russia still exports about three million barrels per day of oil by sea, and those deliveries are quite transparent.
Meanwhile, the Bank of Russia has resumed gold purchases this week, but more importantly, the regulator is doing so at a fixed price of 5,000 roubles ($ 59) per gram between 28 March and 30 June, raising the possibility of Russia returning to the gold standard for the first time in over a century.
If Russia takes the next step, as has been proposed this week, to sell its commodities priced in rubles, these combined moves could have huge implications for the rouble, the US dollar, and the global economy.