OPEC+ surpluses likely peaked in Q3
Further supply cuts are a risk to the outlook still in 2023
Russia's current account surplus peaked in Q2 and is likely back to 2021 levels as energy prices and volumes fall.
More generally, OPEC+ surpluses also likely peaked around Q3, and will likely soften further into 2023.
As such, for the first time in a 18 months, it is net commodity importers that are seeing their external terms of trade improving.
There have recently been some reports (link) that the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) is pushing Russian authorities to resume publication of some economic statistics that were suspended following the Ukraine invasion. This would certainly be a welcome development for those trying to track global trade and financial flows in an increasingly fragmented world (link). But what can we tell from the data in H2 2022 and how does it compare with our expectations?
The first chart below shows Russia’s reported current account (CA) surplus through December 2022. The monthly CA surplus fell sharply from roughly $58bn in Q1, $80bn in Q2, $59bn in Q3 and $30bn in Q4. For the full year Russia registered a current account surplus of $227bn in 2022 as against $120bn in 2021.
Given subsequent developments in global energy prices and Russian export volumes we think the current account surplus in 2023 is likely to be closer to $120bn once more.