Russia’s Top 10 Exports

Russia’s Top 10 Exports


Occupying Northern Asia and a large part of Eastern Europe making the Russian Federation the world’s biggest area by geographic area, Russia shipped US$359.2 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2017. That dollar amount for Russian exports reflects a -31.9% drop since 2013 but a 25.8% improvement from 2016 to 2017.

From January to August 2018, exported goods from Russia were valued at $286 billion. This 8-month metric puts Russian exports on track for an annualized $429.1 billion estimated for all 2018.

Based on estimates from the Central Intelligence Agency’s World Factbook, Russia’s exported goods plus services represent 25.6% of total Russian economic output or Gross Domestic Product. The analysis below focuses on exported products only.

From a continental perspective, 54% of Russian exports by value were delivered to European countries while 36.4% were sold to Asian importers. Russia shipped another 4% worth of goods to Africa with 3.6% going to North America.

Given Russia’s population of 142.3 million people, its total $359.2 billion in 2017 exports translates to roughly $2,500 for every resident in the vast Eurasian country.

Russia’s unemployment rate was 4.7% as of July 2018 down from 5.6% one year earlier, according to Trading Economics.

Russia’s Top 10 Exports

Top 10

The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Russian global shipments during 2017. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Russia.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: US$173.3 billion (48.5% of total exports)
  2. Iron, steel: $18.8 billion (5.3%)
  3. Gems, precious metals: $11 billion (3.1%)
  4. Machinery including computers: $8.5 billion (2.4%)
  5. Wood: $7.9 billion (2.2%)
  6. Cereals: $7.5 billion (2.1%)
  7. Fertilizers: $7.2 billion (2%)
  8. Aluminum: $6.7 billion (1.9%)
  9. Copper: $4.7 billion (1.3%)
  10. Electrical machinery, equipment: $4.3 billion (1.2%)

Note that the results listed above are at the categorized two-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level. For a more granular view of exported goods at the four-digit HTS code level, see the section Searchable List of Russia’s Most Valuable Export Products further down near the bottom of this article.

Russia’s top 10 exports accounted for 70% of the overall value of its global shipments.

Copper was the fastest-growing among the top 10 export categories, up 42.2% from 2016 to 2017.

In second place for improving export sales was Russian cereals which was up 34.3%, led by higher international sales of wheat, barley and corn.

Close behind, Russia’s shipments of iron and steel posted the third-fastest gain in value up 32.9%.

Up 6.7%, electrical machinery and equipment posted the smallest increase among Russia’s top 10 export categories.


Overall Russia generated a $130.9 billion trade surplus during 2017–a 26.8% uptick from the $103.2 billion surplus for 2016.

As of June 2018, Russia’s trade surplus stood at $97.9 billion up 46.7% compared to the first 6 months of 2017.

The following types of Russian product shipments represent positive net exports or a trade balance surplus. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports.

In a nutshell, net exports represent the amount by which foreign spending on a home country’s goods or services exceeds or lags the home country’s spending on foreign goods or services.

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: US$171.4 billion (Up by 28.6% since 2016)
  2. Iron, steel: $13.9 billion (Up by 25.7%)
  3. Gems, precious metals: $10.5 billion (Up by 23.7%)
  4. Wood: $7.2 billion (Up by 22.3%)
  5. Cereals: $7.2 billion (Up by 36.2%)
  6. Fertilizers: $7.1 billion (Up by 8%)
  7. Aluminum: $5.4 billion (Up by 8%)
  8. Copper: $3.9 billion (Up by 37.6%)
  9. Nickel: $2 billion (Up by 1.5%)
  10. Fish: $1.9 billion (Up by 14.3%)

Russia has highly positive net exports in the international trade of both crude and refined oil. In turn, these cashflows indicate Russia’s strong competitive advantages under the mineral fuels including oil category.


Below are exports from Russia that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Russia’s goods trail Russian importer spending on foreign products.

  1. Machinery including computers: -US$36.7 billion (Up by 28.7% since 2016)
  2. Electrical machinery, equipment: -$22.4 billion (Up by 28.4%)
  3. Vehicles: -$18.1 billion (Up by 38.2%)
  4. Pharmaceuticals: -$10.1 billion (Up by 22.2%)
  5. Plastics, plastic articles: -$6 billion (Up by 12.5%)
  6. Aircraft, spacecraft: -$4.8 billion (Up by 86.5%)
  7. Fruits, nuts: -$4.6 billion (Up by 21.9%)
  8. Optical, technical, medical apparatus: -$4.3 billion (Up by 15.6%)
  9. Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): -$3.2 billion (Up by 25.3%)
  10. Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: -$3 billion (Up by 23.7%)

Russia has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits for machinery including computers.

These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Russia’s competitive disadvantages in the international machinery market, but also represent key opportunities for Russia to improve its position in the global economy through focused innovations.


Russian Export Companies

Twenty-eight Russian corporations rank among Forbes Global 2000. The following companies are selected examples of leading companies headquartered in Russia:

  • Gazprom (oil, gas)
  • Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel (iron, steel)
  • Mechel (iron, steel)
  • Severstal (iron, steel)
  • Sistema (telecommunications)
  • Surgutneftegas (oil, gas)

Wikipedia also lists large international trade players from Russia:

  • Alrosa (diversified metals)
  • LukOil (oil, gas)
  • Norilsk Nickel (diversified metals)
  • Novatek (oil, gas)
  • Novolipetsk Steel (iron, steel)
  • Rosneft (oil, gas)
  • Tatneft (oil, gas)
  • Transneft (oil and gas equipment)
  • UC Rusal (aluminum)
  • Uralkali (specialized chemicals)


Searchable List of Russia’s Most Valuable Export Products

At the more granular four-digit HTS code level, Russia’s top export products are crude oil followed by refined petroleum oils then coal.

The following searchable table displays 200 of the most in-demand goods shipped from the Russian Federation during 2017. Shown beside each product label is its total export value then the percentage increase or decrease since 2016.

RankRussian Export Product2017 Value (US$)Change
1Crude oil$93.3 billion+26.6%
2Processed petroleum oils$58.2 billion+26.8%
3Coal, solid fuels made from coal$13.5 billion+51.9%
4Iron/non-alloy steel products (semi-finished)$6 billion+34.9%
5Wheat$5.8 billion+37.4%
6Aluminum (unwrought)$5.5 billion+9.5%
7Petroleum gases$4.72 billion+16.2%
8Diamonds (unmounted/unset)$4.7 billion-2.7%
9Sawn wood$4 billion+24.9%
10Refined copper, unwrought alloys$3.6 billion+51.7%
11Platinum (unwrought)$3.3 billion+36.7%
12Hot-rolled Iron/non-alloy steel products$3.1 billion+26.8%
13Fertilizer mixes$2.7 billion+5.4%
14Gold (unwrought)$2.4 billion+159.9%
15Nitrogenous fertilizers$2.3 billion+7.7%
16Potassic fertilizers$2.1 billion+14.7%
17Whole fish (frozen)$2.1 billion+4.7%
18Turbo-jets$2 billion+29.2%
19Sun/safflower/cotton-seed oil$1.8 billion+23.6%
20Synthetic rubber$1.7 billion+35%
21Aircraft, spacecraft$1.7 billion0%
22Pig iron$1.6 billion+39%
23Iron ores, concentrates$1.6 billion+98%
24Rough wood$1.5 billion+8.6%
25Nickel (unwrought)$1.4 billion-18.8%
26Cars$1.3 billion+20.3%
27Iron ferroalloys$1.3 billion+7.6%
28Iron/steel scrap$1.3 billion+19.7%
29Nuclear reactors, fuel elements$1.3 billion-1.5%
30Coal tar oils (high temperature distillation)$1.2 billion+187.4%
31Iron and steel tubes, pipes$1.2 billion+254.7%
32Rubber tires (new)$1.2 billion+9%
33Laminated wood (including plywood, veneer panels)$1.1 billion+16.6%
34Chemical woodpulp (non-dissolving)$1.1 billion+10.7%
35Crustaceans (including lobsters)$948.8 million+42.7%
36Copper wire$893.9 million+13.1%
37Corn$887 million+3.3%
38Cold-rolled Iron/non-alloy steel products$833.3 million+63.3%
39Acyclic hydrocarbons$788.6 million+3.1%
40Cruise/cargo ships, barges$786.6 million+177%
41Special purpose vehicles$744.5 million+59.3%
42Barley$731.6 million+72.4%
43Ammonia$723.9 million-12.6%
44Iron/non-alloy steel bars, rods$721.2 million+44.7%
45Iron ore reduced products$671.6 million+78%
46Electrical energy$640 million-3%
47Acyclic alcohols$636.3 million+58.6%
48Nickel matte, oxide sinters$613.8 million+157.6%
49Coke, semi-coke$592.3 million+126%
50Flat-rolled Iron/non-alloy steel products (plated/coated)$570 million+91.1%
51Other organic cleaning preparations$565.4 million+111.6%
52Uncoated kraft paper$548 million+18.6%
53Chocolate, other cocoa preparations$547.7 million+14.9%
54Titanium$542.4 million+15.4%
55Iron/steel tubes, pipes$522.6 million+46.5%
56Lead ores, concentrates$521.5 million+22.4%
57Automobile parts/accessories$518.2 million+44.8%
58Temperature-change machines$517.9 million+156.6%
59Precious metal ores, concentrates$505.5 million+5.3%
60Flat-rolled other alloy steel products$498.9 million+11.3%
61Liquid crystal/laser/optical tools$490.3 million+84.3%
62Alloy steel bars, rods$487.3 million+30.2%
63Ethylene polymers$472.9 million+26.6%
64Newsprint (rolls or sheets)$468.2 million+9.4%
65Miscellaneous carbon products$465.6 million+58.2%
66Medication mixes in dosage$457.6 million+8.7%
67Heterocyclics, nucleic acids$441 million+47.6%
68Coiled Iron/non-alloy steel bars, rods$436.4 million+38.2%
69Miscellaneous iron and steel structures$434.1 million-16.4%
70Phone system devices $426.4 million+53.5%
71Radar, radio communication items$424.1 million-43.9%
72Silver (unwrought)$423.6 million+55.9%
73Propylene/olefin polymers$421.1 million+15.8%
74Dried shelled vegetables$411.1 million+6.8%
75Cyclic hydrocarbons$404.2 million+33.9%
76Uncoated paper for writing/printing$396.8 million+18.5%
77Lignite$393.2 million+135.2%
78Soya-bean oil$391.6 million+13.4%
79Miscellaneous engines, motors$388.4 million+31.3%
80Cigars/cigarellos, cigarettes$374.7 million-16.9%
81Sanitary towels, baby napkins/liners$372.5 million+89.9%
82Miscellaneous Iron/steel tubes, pipes$368.5 million+37.4%
83Alloy steel ingots$367.2 million+59.1%
84TV receivers/monitors/projectors$362.4 million+30.2%
85Liquid pumps and elevators$361 million+36.6%
86Aluminum wire$349.6 million+27.8%
87Fish fillets, pieces$349.2 million+26.4%
88Bread, biscuits, cakes, pastries$340.9 million+5.5%
89Natural calcium phosphates$339.4 million-11.2%
90Trucks$335.9 million-4.8%
91Insulated wire/cable$335.4 million+25%
92Aluminum plates, sheets, strips$329.7 million+31.9%
93Iron/non-alloy steel angles, shapes, sections$325 million+17.3%
94Washing machines$322.4 million+36%
95Warships, lifeboats$296.5 million0%
96Taps, valves, similar appliances$293.3 million+15.8%
97Printed books, brochures$290.5 million+44.9%
98Refrigerators, freezers$282.9 million+40.2%
99Other measuring/testing machines$282.6 million+1%
100Computers, optical readers$281.7 million+29.8%
101Fiberboard$280.2 million+38%
102Electrical machinery$275.7 million+43.7%
103Particle board, other ligneous materials$274.1 million+43.7%
104TV/radio/radar device parts$273.2 million+16.1%
105Sugar (cane or beet)$272.9 million+411.7%
106Miscellaneous Iron/steel items$271.3 million+8.9%
107Lead (unwrought)$271 million+18.3%
108Miscellaneous furniture$253.7 million+32.1%
109Electric motors, generators$253.6 million+21.5%
110Railway/streetcar carrier vans, wagons$250.1 million+58%
111Asphalt/petroleum bitumen mixes$248.4 million-25.1%
112Fuel wood, wood chips, sawdust$244 million+26.2%
113Regulate/control instruments$242.4 million+19%
114Rape/colza/mustard oil$238.6 million+41.5%
115Wood carpentry, builders' joinery$233.7 million+25.1%
116Ethers$227.7 million+79%
117Aluminum bars/rods$225.8 million+23.1%
118Railway/streetcar miscellaneous parts$224.2 million+53.9%
119Non-sublimed sulphur$220.5 million+12.1%
120Float/ground/polished glass in sheets$220.1 million+35.1%
121Miscellaneous oil cakes$219.5 million-18.6%
122Carbonates, percarbonates$217.8 million+15.4%
123Electrical/optical circuit boards, panels$214.2 million-13.9%
124Unrecorded sound media$212.7 million+37.5%
125Pipe/chewing/snuff tobaccos$212 million+3.6%
126Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips$212 million+17.1%
127Centrifuges, filters and purifiers$211.9 million+41.3%
128Other food preparations$209.9 million+29.9%
129Blood fractions (including antisera)$207.4 million+29.2%
130Margarine$199.9 million+23.7%
131Miscellaneous machinery$196.4 million+33.8%
132Hair preparations$190.2 million+26%
133Linseed$189.4 million-8.1%
134Polyamides$189 million+53.4%
135Uncoated paper$188 million+20.8%
136Zinc ores, concentrates$187 million+62.8%
137Petroleum oil residues$181.4 million+93.3%
138Hydrazine, inorganic salts$180.2 million+25.4%
139Vinyl chloride polymers$177.3 million+47.8%
140Beauty/makeup/skin care preparations$176.2 million+36.2%
141Poultry meat$172.9 million+47.2%
142Styrene polymers$172.6 million+9.6%
143Plastic packing goods, lids, caps$172.6 million+23.1%
144Asbestos$169.6 million-2.9%
145Soya beans$168.6 million+26.5%
146Engines (diesel)$166.1 million+56.9%
147Beryllium$166 million+18.2%
148Bottles, flasks, jars, pots, other containers$163.8 million+11.7%
149Electrical converters/power units$163.4 million-3.5%
150Nitrile-function compounds$162.3 million+54.8%
151Transmission shafts, gears, clutches$160.4 million+6.8%
152Phosphates, polyphosphates$159 million-8.4%
153Trailers$158.3 million+21.8%
154Machinery parts$157 million+11.2%
155Carbon electrodes, brushes$155.9 million+48.8%
156Sugar confectionery (no cocoa)$153.7 million+14.3%
157Asphalt articles$153.2 million+17.5%
158Coffee/tea extracts, concentrates$152.9 million+18.7%
159Other animal leather$151.2 million+5.7%
160Beet-pulp, brew/distilling waste$148.8 million+3.4%
161Packaged insecticides/fungicides/herbicides$148 million+48.2%
162Alcohol (including spirits, liqueurs)$147.3 million+12.7%
163Cellulose fiber paper$146.9 million+9.1%
164Iron/non-alloy steel wire$145.8 million+27.2%
165Paper containers, cellulose wadding$144.6 million+8.4%
166Plastic plates, sheets, film, tape, strips$144.5 million+17.6%
167Plastic tubes, pipes, fittings$144.3 million+30.8%
168Electric water heaters, hair dryers$142.9 million+24.1%
169Lower-voltage switches, fuses$142.7 million+21.6%
170Sodium/potash hydroxide, peroxide$142.6 million+62.2%
171Soya-bean oil-cake, other solid residues$142.2 million-29.5%
172Unglazed ceramic tiles$140.1 million+333.6%
173Polyacetal/ether/carbonates$139.4 million+39.2%
174Railway track construction material$138.7 million+5.1%
175Tugboats, pusher craft$137.8 million-50.1%
176Veneer sheets, sheets for sawn wood$136.5 million+23.3%
177Piston engine parts$136.5 million+47.8%
178Sauces, preparations, mixed condiments$136.4 million+14.7%
179Bran, other residues$133.9 million+19.8%
180Miscellaneous animal feed preparations$133.2 million+7%
181Glass fibers$132.5 million+32.6%
182Sunflower seeds$131.2 million+58.8%
183Malt beer$129.1 million+2.8%
184Non-alcoholic drinks (not water/juice/milk)$128.8 million+10%
185Heavy machinery (bulldozers, excavators, road rollers)$127.3 million+57.4%
186Air or vacuum pumps$124.4 million-14.5%
187Chemical industry products/residuals$120.8 million+40.2%
188Personal toilet/shaving preparations, deodorants$120.1 million+34.6%
189Petroleum jelly, mineral waxes$119.4 million-8%
190Zinc (unwrought)$119.2 million+18%
191Oscilloscopes, spectrum analyzers$118.8 million+37%
192Harvest/threshing machinery$118.2 million+15.3%
193Ball, roller bearings$118 million+27.9%
194Soap, organics surface-active products$116.5 million+25.8%
195Radioactive chemical elements$114.3 million-8%
196Amino-resins$109.9 million+26.7%
197Pasta, couscous$108.8 million+15.6%
198Automobile bodies$108.2 million+168.1%
199Synthetic precious stones$106.3 million+49.5%
200Demonstration instruments$104.9 million+5.1%

These 200 exported goods were worth a subtotal of US$289.4 billion or roughly 80% by value for all products exported from the Russian Federation during 2017.

See also Russia’s Top 10 Imports, Russia Top Trading Partners, Top Russian Trade Balances and Russia’s Top 10 Major Export Companies

Research Sources:
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on September 4, 2018

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on September 4, 2018

The World Factbook, Country Profiles, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on September 4, 2018

Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on September 4, 2018

Wikipedia, List of Companies of Russia. Accessed on September 4, 2018

Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on September 4, 2018