The external trade of Russia, the world's fourteenth largest exporter, was interrelated with the country's foreign policy over the past decade. In recent years, the geographical orientation of Russian foreign trade shifted from Europe to Asia Pacific, which was reflected in merchandise trade volumes of Russia with both regions. However, European states continued to rely on Russian mineral resources, as the country accounted for over 40 percent of natural gas and 27 percent of petroleum oil imported into EU-28.
Russia ranked as the second largest crude oil exporting region after the Middle East. With mineral products making up nearly 65 percent of its total exports, the national economy became heavily dependent on energy commodities. Thus, other manufacturing sectors received lower investment and development opportunities, which made them less attractive to be sold abroad. Besides chemicals and natural resources, Russia was the leading exporter of wheat.
China was Russia's major trade partner, accounting for nearly 16 percent of the country's total merchandise trade volume. The Netherlands and Germany were Russia's leading export destinations in Europe, while the United States was the country's third largest import origin. Russia maintained strong relations with the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), particularly with Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), which established a single market and the Eurasian Customs Union. Furthermore, Russia stregthened trade cooperation with countries in Africa while hosting the Russia-Africa Summit in October 2019.
As a consequence of Western sanctions imposed on Russia in response to the annexation of Crimea and the territorial integrity of Ukraine, the country's foreign trade volume saw a considerable decline between 2014 and 2015. Economic restrictions and the subsequent financial instability forced nearly two thousand German companies to leave the Russian market since 2013. The Russian food embargo from European countries and the United States was followed by an extensive import substitution program supporting domestic agricultural producers; however, it also contributed to an increase in food prices.
Despite having the third highest trade surplus worldwide, Russia's foreign trade had limited growth prospects due to low export diversification, global trade volume slowdown, and restrictions imposed by international sanctions. By 2024, Russian external trade volume was forecast to increase to 860 billion U.S. dollars, while the oil export volume was projected to gradually decline.
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In the following 7 chapters, you will quickly find the 43 most important statistics relating to "Trade in Russia".