Top Russian Trade Balances

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Red Square, Moscow

Crude or refined petroleum oils and coal were major factors behind Russia’s highest trade surpluses by product. Netherlands and Turkey placed first and second respectively among trade partners with which Russia won the highest positive trade balances.

Russia’s overall trade surplus incorporating all products and countries equaled US$130.1 billion in 2017, down -22.6% from the $168.2-billion surplus for 2010. Year over year, the $130.1 billion in black ink represents a 26% expansion from the 103.2-billion surplus that Russia earned during 2016.

Top Russian Trade Balances by Product and Country

Product+

The following 10 leading products generated a surplus subtotal of $197.7 billion for Russia in its global trade during 2017. Metrics listed below highlight Russia’s strongest competitive advantages over worldwide trading partners.

  1. Crude oil: US$93.3 billion (Down -27.2% since 2010)
  2. Processed petroleum oils: $57.4 billion (Down -14.8%)
  3. Coal, solid fuels made from coal: $13.1 billion (Up 45%)
  4. Iron or non-alloy steel products (semi-finished): $6 billion (Down -13.8%)
  5. Wheat: $5.8 billion (Up 178.1%)
  6. Aluminum (unwrought): $5.4 billion (Down -8.2%)
  7. Petroleum gases: $4.6 billion (Down -91.1%)
  8. Diamonds (unmounted/unset): $4.6 billion (Up 71.6%)
  9. Sawn wood: $4 billion (Up 34.5%)
  10. Refined copper, unwrought alloys: $3.6 billion (Up 9.5%)

Half of Russia’s top 10 product surpluses rose in value from 2010 to 2017, led by wheat (up 178.1%) and diamonds (up 71.6%).

Positive trade balances for the remaining five products fell in value. The top decliners were petroleum gases (down -91.1%), crude oil (down -27.2%) and refined petroleum oils (down -14.8%).

Product-

The 10 major products below accumulated a deficit subtotal of -$46.5 billion for Russia in international trade during 2017. Russia has demonstrated the severest competitive disadvantages in the exports and imports of the following commodities.

  1. Phone system devices including smartphones: -US$8 billion (Up 21.9% since 2010)
  2. Medication mixes in dosage: -$7.9 billion (Down -11.5%)
  3. Automobile parts/accessories: -$7.4 billion (Up 40.9%)
  4. Temperature-change machines: -$6.4 billion (Up 313%)
  5. Cars: -$5.4 billion (Down -51.6%)
  6. Computers, optical readers: -$4.8 billion (Up 2.1%)
  7. Electro-medical equipment (e.g. xrays): -$1.7 billion (Down -5.7%)
  8. Trucks: -$1.66 billion (Up 66.8%)
  9. Tractors: -$1.63 billion (Up 148.3%)
  10. Blood fractions (including antisera): -$1.57 billion (Up 8%)

Russia’s red ink increased at the fastest pace for temperature-change machines (up 313% since 2010), tractors (up 148.3%), trucks (up 66.8%) and automobile parts or accessories (up 40.9%).

Three leading deficit categories declined from 2010 to 2017, namely cars (down -51.6%), medication mixes in dosage (down -11.5%) and electro-medical equipment such as xrays (down -5.7%).

Country+

In 2017, Russia generated a surplus subtotal worth $92.7 billion with the following 10 trading partners.

  1. Netherlands: US$31.7 billion (Down -35% since 2010)
  2. Turkey: $14.8 billion (Up 63.2%)
  3. Kazakhstan: $7.4 billion (Up 18.7%)
  4. Poland: $6.67 billion (Down -20.5%)
  5. Belarus: $6.66 billion (Down -18.1%)
  6. Egypt: $5.7 billion (Up 284.3%)
  7. South Korea: $5.4 billion (Up 73.1%)
  8. Finland: $4.9 billion (Down -19.9%)
  9. United Kingdom: $4.7 billion (Down -8.4%)
  10. Algeria: $4.6 billion (Up 270.9%)

Growing at the fastest pace from 2010 to 2017 were Russian trade surpluses with Egypt (up 284.3%), Algeria (up 270.9%) and South Korea (up 73.1%).

Russia’s positive net exports retreated with five of its top 10 partners led by Finland (down -19.9%), Poland (down -20.5%) and the Netherlands (down -35%).

Country-

Russia experienced a losing international trade relationship with 72 countries, islands or territories. The following 10 trade partners created a -$23.2 billion deficit subtotal in 2017 from exchanging exports and imports.

  1. China: -US$9.1 billion (Down -52.4% since 2010)
  2. France: -$3.7 billion (Reversing a $1.1 billion surplus)
  3. United States: -$1.9 billion (Reversing a $2.1 billion surplus)
  4. Indonesia: -$1.7 billion (Up 345.5%)
  5. Vietnam: -$1.4 billion (Reversing a $10 million surplus)
  6. Thailand: -$1.2 billion (Reversing a $166.1 million surplus)
  7. Brazil: -$1.17 billion (Down -50.3%)
  8. Ecuador: -$1.1 billion (Up 26.3%)
  9. Malaysia: -$944.3 million (Down -5.4%)
  10. Spain: -$912.6 million (Reversing a $1 billion surplus)

In percentage terms, Russia’s trade deficit with Indonesia grew the fastest via a 345.5% expansion from 2010 to 2017.

Russia trimmed the size of its negative trade balance with China at the greatest percentage, whittling it down by -52.4% over the 7-year period.

Russia went from black ink during 2010 to red ink in 2017 trading with the United States, France, Spain, Thailand and Vietnam.

See also Russia’s Top 10 Imports, Russia Top Trading Partners, Russia’s Top 10 Exports and Russia’s Top 10 Major Export Companies

Research Sources:
Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on March 4, 2018

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

The World Factbook, Field Listing: World, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on March 4, 2018

Wikipedia, Economy of Russia. Accessed onMarch 4, 2018