“According to preliminary customs statistics, in January-March 2016 imports from non-CIS countries decreased by 14.2 percent compared to the same period last year and amounted to $32.254 billion,” said the Federal Customs Service in a statement last week.
Even so, there was a 19.5 percent growth in imports compared with February. Last month, Russia saw $13.12 billion worth of goods imports.
The most significant growth in March was a 28.5 percent increase in imports of machinery to $6.219 billion and chemical products – by 24.1 percent to $2,612 billion.
March this year saw 9.7 percent fewer imports than in the same month last year. The sharpest drop was seen in vegetable imports which were down 40.8 percent. Sugar imports fell 36.8 percent, while meat and meat products fell 22 percent.
Russia banned food imports from the US and EU in response to Western sanctions imposed over the conflict in Ukraine. Moscow is aiming to substitute imports where possible.