Russia shipped US$333.5 billion worth of products around the globe in 2015. That figure represents roughly 1.8% of overall global exports estimated at $18.686 trillion.
From a continental perspective, 57.1% of Russia’s total exports by value in 2015 were delivered to European trade partners.
Asian importers purchased 35.6% of Russian shipments while 3.2% 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 2015. Also shown is each import country’s percentage of total Russian exports.
- Netherlands: US$38.7 billion (11.6% of total Russian exports)
- China: $27.3 billion (8.2%)
- Germany: $24.6 billion (7.4%)
- Italy: $21.8 billion (6.5%)
- Turkey: $19.1 billion (5.7%)
- Belarus: $15 billion (4.5%)
- Japan: $14.2 billion (4.3%)
- South Korea: $13.1 billion (3.9%)
- Kazakhstan: $10.5 billion (3.1%)
- Poland: $9.5 billion (2.9%)
- United States: $9.4 billion (2.8%)
- Ukraine: $9.1 billion (2.7%)
- United Kingdom: $7.5 billion (2.2%)
- Finland: $7 billion (2.1%)
- Latvia: $6.9 billion (2.1%)
Over two-thirds (70.1%) of Russian exports in 2015 were delivered to the above 15 trade partners.
Only three countries on the list of top importers increased their import purchases from Russia from 2011 to 2015: Turkey (up by 26.9%), Germany (up by 8.2%) and Latvia (up by 1.9%).
Decliners posted decreases in Russian imports ranging from -55.1% for Poland to just -0.3% for Japan.
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 countrydoesn’t necessarily post a negative trade balance with each individual partner with which it exchanges exports and imports.
In 2015, Russia incurred the highest trade deficits with the following countries:
- China: -US$6.8 billion (country-specific trade deficit in 2014)
- United States: -$1.4 billion
- Indonesia: -$1 billion
- Brazil: -$962.2 million
- Thailand: -$889.6 million
- Ecuador: -$868.2 million
- Austria: -$867.6 million
- Paraguay: -$836.9 million
- Slovenia: -$739.6 million
- Argentina: -$685.7 million
Among Russia’s import partners that cause the greatest negative trade balances, Russian deficits with Argentina (up 138.6%), Paraguay up 75.8%) and Indonesia (up 8.9%) were the only three to increase from 2011 to 2015.
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 2015, Russia incurred the highest trade surpluses with the following countries:
- Netherlands: US$35.7 billion (country-specific trade surplus in 2015)
- Turkey: $15.2 billion
- Italy: $13.7 billion
- South Korea: $8.6 billion
- Japan: $7.5 billion
- Belarus: $6.6 billion
- Latvia: $6.6 billion
- Kazakhstan: $5.8 billion
- Poland: $5.5 billion
- Germany: $4.7 billion
Among Russia’s import partners that cause the greatest positive trade balances, Russian surpluses with South Korea (up 392%), Turkey up 74.4%) and Latvia (up 6.8%) were the only three to increase from 2011 to 2015.
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
Russian Export Companies
Twenty-eight Russian corporations rank among Forbes Global 2000 for 2015. The following companies are selected examples of leading companies headquartered in Russia:
- Gazprom (oil, gas)
- Surgutneftegas (oil, gas)
- Sistema (telecommunications)
- Severstal (iron, steel)
- Mechel (iron, steel)
- Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel (iron, steel)
According to the Russian Exporters Database provided by the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, the following are also 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 Top 10 Imports, Russia’s Fastest-Growing Import Partners and Highest Value Russian Import Products
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Imports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on February 16, 2016
Trade Map, International Trade Centre, www.intracen.org/marketanalysis. Accessed on February 16, 2016
Investopedia, Net Importer Definition. Accessed on February 16, 2016
Forbes 2015 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on February 16, 2016
Integrated Foreign Economic Information Portal, Russian Exporters Database. Accessed on November 2, 2015