In the second quarter of 2020, gold exports from Russia exceeded exports of pipeline natural gas, a report from the Federal Customs Service and the Bank of Russia said.
In April and May of 2020, Russian companies sold abroad 65.4 tons of gold totalling of $3.55 billion. During the same period of time, Russian natural gas monopoly Gazprom exported pipeline gas in the amount of $2.4 billion.
In the second quarter of the year, the Central Bank of the Russian Federation evaluated Russia's gas exports at $3.5 billion, which is the lowest quarterly value since 2002.
A sharp increase in the exports of Russian gold was caused by a change in the rules for the export of precious metals and the decision of the Central Bank to suspend purchases of gold on the domestic market.
A reduction in gas sales exports occurred against the backdrop of restrictive measures introduced to combat the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, warmer climate conditions and full gas storage facilities in Europe.
This is the first time since 1994, when Russia's gold exports outstrip gas exports of the country in monetary terms. However, the growth in revenues from gold exports will not be able to compensate for the decrease in revenues from oil and gas supplies abroad.
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the registration of the first vaccine against coronavirus. Russia has thus become the first country in the world to register the vaccine against the novel coronavirus