According to the World Bank, average national export volumes soared by 25 percent last year on 2002 levels, that is, from $9 billion to $11.2 billion.
Meanwhile imports grew by 23 percent, i.e. from $5.1 billion to $6.2 billion.
The national export increment was mostly facilitated by impressive prices for all the main raw materials being sold by Russia. Meanwhile imports increased as a result of a stronger ruble; add to this rising popular incomes and the population's greater purchasing capacity, the report goes on to say.
As before, the 2003 foreign-trade surplus was facilitated by sky-high hydrocarbon export prices; incidentally, specific export trends matched oil-and-gas price fluctuations completely, World Bank experts note.