The Russian economy is a unique engine, without globally significant manufacturing, but powerful in its capacity to generate fuels, and a handful of valuable natural resources, such as wood, gold, and fertilizers.
Here are 10 essential things to know about Russia’s exports:
1. Russia’s top trading partner is China. In 2021, it shipped $68.1 billion worth of goods to China, up 38.5% from 2020. China now makes up 14% of Russia’s exports, up from 6.7% in 2013.
2. Russia’s top exports to China in 2021 were: 1. Petroleum. 2. Iron ore and copper. 3. Wood. 4. “Suppressed commodities”. 5. Machinery.
3. Russian petroleum exports increased 49% y-on-y to $211.5 billion in 2021.
4. The biggest buyers of Russian petroleum in 2021: China, Netherlands, Germany, South Korea, the U.S., Poland, Turkey, Belarus, Italy, and Japan.
5. Russia’s top high-tech exports to all its partners in 2021: 1. Turbojets. 2. COVID-19 Vaccines. 3. Fuel cartridges for nuclear reactors. 4. Radar equipment. Its top customer for high-tech good was China.
6. Russia’s third top export category is precious stones, including gold and diamonds. Its top three buyers in 2021: the UK, the US, and Belgium.
7. In 2021, Russia shipped $15.4 billion of gold to the UK, making up 3% of its total national exports.
8. In 2021, Russia exported $4.5 billion of diamonds, up 39.9% from 2020. Its top customer: Belgium, which bought $1.8 billion worth.
9. Russia is the world’s fourth biggest wood exporter, after Canada, China, and Germany. Russia exported $11.8 billion of wood in 2021, up 42.6% from 2020. Its top customer was China, which bought $3.6 billion worth, followed by Finland, Japan, Uzbekistan, and the U.S.
10. Russia is the world’s number one exporter of fertilizers. In 2021, it shipped out $12.5 billion worth of fertilizers, up 78.4% from 2020. Its biggest buyer was Brazil, which bought $3.5 billion worth, followed by the U.S., China, Estonia, and Finland.