The value of Germany's oil and gas imports from Russia jumped by more than 50% in March due to a surge in energy prices even as volumes shrank, the statistics office said.

Aiming to reduce its dependence on Russian energy after Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, Germany has been seeking alternative supplies of oil and gas.

In March it cut the volume of its Russia energy imports by 27.8% yet the value of its imported Russian oil and gas jumped 56.5% to 2.4 billion euros ($2.52 billion), the Federal Statistical Office said on Thursday.

The value of Germany's overall imports from Russia in March soared by 77.7% to 4.4 billion euros while its exports to Russia fell by 58.7% to 1 billion euros.

Western sanctions imposed on Russia following the invasion include export restrictions.

Exports of machinery and chemical products in particular were down sharply in March, the statistics office said.

It also said that German exports to Ukraine fell by 45.7% in March while imports from Ukraine fell by 27.5%.

($1 = 0.9520 euros)

(Reporting by Maria Sheahan; editing by Jason Neely)