Russian trade surplus creeps up to $212 bn in 2012

Russia's trade surplus creeped up 0.6 percent to $212.2 billion (158 billion euros) in 2012, largely due to energy exports, according to data published by the customs service on Friday.

Exports by Russia, which joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) last year, rose by 1.6 percent to $524.7 billion while imports climbed 2.2 percent to $312.5 billion.

The European Union remained Russia's top trade partner with 49 percent of total commercial exchanges, up from 47.9 percent in 2011.

China was the top single country, with trade turnover up 5.1 percent to $87.5 billion, accounting for 10.5 percent of the total.

A trade surplus contributes to national economic growth.