Exports fell 30.1 percent year-on-year to USD 22.9 billion while imports decreased 10.5 percent to USD 15.2 billion, central bank data showed.
The trade surplus with non-CIS countries declined 54.8 percent to USD 5.95 billion and trade surplus with CIS countries fell 33.4 percent to USD 1.76 billion.
According to more detailed data from Russian Customs Statistics, trade surplus went down by 47 percent year-on-year to USD 8.8 billion in March 2015. Exports decreased by 28.8 percent to USD 23.4 billion while imports fell by 10.3 percent to USD 14.5 billion.
Exports to non-CIS countries decreased to USD 20.3 billion. The biggest drop was reported for: fuels and energy products (by 35.2 percent to USD 11.8 billion) followed by metals (by 23.5 percent to USD 2.2 billion); chemical products (by 34.3 percent to USD 1.5 billion), machinery and equipment (by 16.8 percent to USD 1.3 billion) while foodstuffs and raw materials increased (by 11 percent to USD 1.1 billion). Exports to CIS countries declined to USD 4.0 billion: fuels and energy products (by 36.6 percent to USD 1.1 billion); metals (by 23.6 percent to USD 0.3 billion) and machinery and equipment (by 1.4 percent to USD 0.4 billion) while chemical products (by 11.2 percent to USD 0.5 billion) and foodstuffs and raw materials (by 4.1 percent to USD 0.3 billion) went up.
Imports from non-CIS countries declined by 16.6 percent to USD 13.2 billion. The fall was mainly driven by: machinery and equipment (by 11.2 percent to 6.3 billion) followed by foodstuffs and raw materials (by 6.8 percent to 1.8 billion, chemical products (by 3.3 percent to USD 2.6 billion); textiles and footwear (by 17 percent to USD 0.8 billion); metals (by 10 percent to USD 0.7 billion). Purchases from CIS countries went down to USD by 18.5 percent to 1.4 billion led by chemical products (by 29.7 percent to USD 0.2 billion) and mineral products (by 44 percent to USD 0.14 billion). In contrast, purchases of machinery and equipment (by 13.8 percent to USD 0.3 billion) and foodstuffs and raw materials (by 16 percent to USD 0.27 billion) rose.
The biggest trade surpluses in March were recorded with the Netherlands (USD 2.1 billion); Turkey (USD 1.1 billion) Belarus (USD 0.56 billion) and South Korea (USD 0.54 billion). The largest trade deficits were recorded with US (USD 0.4 billion trade gap) and France (USD 0.36 billion gap).