In the first quarter of 2003, Russia's foreign trade increased by nearly one third compared with the same period of 2002 and amounted to 41.2 billion dollars.
According to the State Customs Committee, the export totalled about 30 and import 11.3 billion dollars /which is 38.3 and 20 per cent more respectively/.
The State Customs Committee pointed out that the expansion of foreign trade was accompanied by a surplus of 18.6 billion dollars, which is 6.4 billion more than in the first quarter of 2002.
Fuel and energy products made up over 64 per cent of Russia's export outside the CIS. Metals and metal products remain the second largest and most important export group /about 17 per cent/, the Committee stated. Car and equipment export also rose by 12 per cent, making a 5-per cent share in Russia's total export.
Cars and equipment still remain Russia's largest import group. In comparison with January-March of 2002, their import grew by 22 per cent, with its share in the total import volume totalling 38 per cent.
Import of food and agricultural products also increased by 13 per cent.
According to the Customs Committee, Russia's trade with the CIS member-states in the first quarter of 2003 amounted to 6.9 billion dollars seeing a 27.5-per cent increase. Russia imported to the CIS member-states fuel and energy products /about 50 per cent/, machine building products /38 per cent/, food /32 per cent/ and chemical products /32 per cent/.
EU member-states were Russia's main partners in January-March 2003, as their share in the Russian trade volume equalled 37 per cent.