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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Oil Export Earnings Up 130% on High Prices

The nation’s earnings from crude oil exports, a main source of revenues, rose more than 130 percent in the first half of the year compared to last year, reaching $11.15 billion, a news report said Tuesday.

The jump in revenues was largely due to an increase in world oil prices, as the volume of domestic oil exports was up only 2.4 percent to 64.37 million metric tons, compared with 62.86 million metric tons during the same period last year, according to customs figures cited by Interfax.

Oil and natural gas make up 40 percent of domestic exports, and the rise in world oil prices has been a major boost to the economy in recent months. But foreign lenders have repeatedly criticized the government for allowing the economy to depend heavily on the fluctuations of oil prices and have urged structural reforms.

The country’s largest oil customers are Germany, which bought 10.18 million tons, Poland, with 8.76 million tons, and Italy, with 7.75 million tons.

Budget revenues from income taxes were also up in the first half of the year, reaching 70.1 billion rubles ($2.5 billion), or 52 percent more than during the same period in 1999, said Deputy Tax Minister Dmitry Chernik, Interfax reported.

Meanwhile, a draft 2001 budget to be submitted by the Finance Ministry to the Cabinet next week envisages a primary surplus of 4 percent of gross domestic product, or 310 billion rubles, Interfax reported. The primary surplus results from revenues minus spending before foreign debts are paid.

Overall, the budget draft sets out zero deficit, with revenue and spending both at 1.2 trillion rubles ($43.3 billion), the report said. It budgeted an annual inflation rate of 12 percent. This year’s budget calls for 18 percent inflation, but analysts expect the year’s rate will likely be higher.