Russia shipped US$492.1 billion worth of products around the globe in 2014. That figure represents roughly 2.6% of overall global exports estimated at $18.659 trillion.
From a continental perspective, 61.4% of Russia’s total exports by value in 2014 were delivered to European trade partners.
Asian countries purchased 32.9% of Russian shipments while 2.5% worth arrived in North America.
Russia’s Top Import Partners
Below is a list showcasing 15 of Russia’s top import partners, countries that imported the most Russian shipments by dollar value during 2014. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Russian exports.
- Netherlands: US$67.8 billion (13.8% of total Russian exports)
- China: $37.2 billion (7.6%)
- Germany: $36.8 billion (7.5%)
- Italy: $35.7 billion (7.3%)
- Turkey: $24.8 billion (5%)
- Japan: $19.7 billion (4%)
- Belarus: $19.3 billion (3.9%)
- South Korea: $17.7 billion (3.6%)
- Ukraine: $17.1 billion (3.5%)
- Poland: $15.9 billion (3.2%)
- Kazakhstan: $13.7 billion (2.8%)
- Latvia: $12.7 billion (2.6%)
- United Kingdom: $11.6 billion (2.3%)
- Finland: $11.3 billion (2.3%)
- United States: $10.5 billion (2.1%)
Over two-thirds (71.5%) of Russian exports in 2014 were delivered to the above 15 trade partners.
Among the top importers, only America saw the value of its Russian imports fall from 2010 to 2014, posting a 12.3% drop. The remaining 14 countries increased their import purchases by minimum gain of 5.3% for Finland up to a 132.1% improvement for Germany.
As defined by Investopedia, a country whose total value of all imported goods is higher than its value of all exports is said to have a negative trade balance or deficit.
It would be unrealistic for any exporting nation to expect across-the-board positive trade balances with all its importing partners. Similarly, that export country doesn’t necessarily post a negative trade balance with each individual partner with which it exchanges exports and imports.
In 2014, Russia incurred the highest trade deficits with the following countries:
- China: -US$13.1 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2014)
- United States: -$7.8 billion
- France: -$3.2 billion
- Austria: -$2.6 billion
- Brazil: -$1.7 billion
- Paraguay: -$1.1 billion
- Ecuador: -$997.9 million
- Ireland: -$966.5 million
- Slovenia: -$962 million
- Argentina: -$885.3 million
Among Russia’s import partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Russian deficits with Paraguay (up 151.7%), Argentina (up 25.8%) and Ecuador (up 16.6%) grew at the fastest pace from 2010 to 2014.
These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Russia’s competitive disadvantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Russia to develop country-specific strategies to strengthen its overall position in international trade.
Based on Investopedia’s definition of net importer, a country whose total value of all imported goods is lower than its value of all exports is said to have a positive trade balance or surplus.
In 2014, Russia incurred the highest trade surpluses with the following countries:
- Netherlands: US$62.5 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2014)
- Italy: $23.1 billion
- Turkey: $18.2 billion
- Latvia: $12.1 billion
- Japan: $8.9 billion
- Poland: $8.9 billion
- South Korea: $8.8 billion
- Belarus: $7.6 billion
- Finland: $6.8 billion
- Kazakhstan: $6.7 billion
Among Russia’s import partners that cause the greatest positive trade balances, Russian surpluses with Japan (up 298.5%), South Korea (up 180.1%) and Latvia (up 148.5%) grew at the fastest pace from 2010 to 2014.
These positive cashflow streams clearly indicate Russia’s competitive advantages with the above countries, but also represent key opportunities for Russia to develop country-specific strategies to optimize its overall position in international trade.
Companies Servicing Russian Import Partners
According to the Russian Exporters Database provided by the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, the following are examples of established companies that ship products from Russia to its import partners around the globe. Shown within parenthesis is the product category that the Russian business specializes in.
- OJSC TAIF-NK (refined petroleum oils)
- JSC Mir Upakovki (plastic packaging)
- Omsky Zavod Trubnoy Izolyatsy (tubes, pipes, fittings)
- Souz Co Ltd (fertilizers, chemicals)
- FPK Saturn LLC (copper, zinc, aluminum, tin)
- Soyuz Agro, LLC (wheat, barley, flax)
- GUP Komdragmetall RSJA (gold)
- ALROSA (diamonds, jewelry)
- Finco LLC (drones for aerial photos, video monitoring)
- SpecPromTech (iron, steel, other metals)
See also Russia’s Fastest-Growing Import Partners and Highest Value Russian Import Products
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Imports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on November 2, 2015
Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on November 2, 2015
Investopedia, Net Importer Definition. Accessed on November 2, 2015
Integrated Foreign Economic Information Portal, Russian Exporters Database. Accessed on November 2, 2015