Top Russian Trade Balances

Red Square Moscow

Red Square, Moscow

Crude and refined oil, petroleum gases and, to a lesser extent, coal were major factors behind Russia’s highest trade surpluses by product. Netherlands and South Korea placed first and second respectively among trade partners with which Russia experienced the highest positive trade balances.

Russia’s overall trade surplus for all products equaled US$161.1 billion in 2015, down -23.6% from $210.9 billion for 2011. Year over year, the $161.1 billion in black ink represents -23.7% setback from the $211.2 billion surplus that Russia earned during 2014.

Top Russian Trade Balances by Product and Country

Product+

The following 10 leading products generated a surplus subtotal of $236.3 billion for Russia in its global trade during 2015. Metrics listed below highlight Russia’s strongest competitive advantages over worldwide trading partners.

  1. Crude oil: US$88.9 billion (down -48.2% since 2011)
  2. Processed petroleum oils: $66.3 billion (down -24.5%)
  3. Petroleum gases: $47.3 billion (down -31.8%)
  4. Coal, solid fuels made from coal: $9.1 billion (down -17.5%)
  5. Aluminum (unwrought): $6 billion (down -11.1%)
  6. Iron or non-alloy steel products (semi-finished): $4.6 billion (down -39.8%)
  7. Diamonds (unmounted/unset): $3.9 billion (up 5.7%)
  8. Wheat: $3.9 billion (up 5.6%)
  9. Fertilizer mixes: $3.2 billion (down -17.7%)
  10. Refined copper, unwrought alloys: $3.1 billion (up 93.1%)

Three of Russia’s top product surpluses rose in value from 2011 to 2015: refined copper and unwrought alloys (up 93.1%), unmounted or unset diamonds (up 5.7%) and wheat (up 5.6%).

Positive trade balances for the remaining seven products fell in value. The top decliners were: crude oil (down -48.2%), iron or non-alloy steel products (down -39.8%), petroleum gases (down -31.8%) and processed petroleum oils (down -24.5%).

Product-

The 10 major products below accumulated a deficit subtotal of -$34.5 billion for Russia in international trade during 2015. Russia has demonstrated the severest competitive disadvantages in the exports and imports of the following commodities.

  1. Medication mixes in dosage: -US$6.4 billion (down -39.3% since 2011)
  2. Phone system devices: -$6.2 billion (down -19.4%)
  3. Cars: -$5.4 billion (down -70.3%)
  4. Automobile parts/accessories: -$5 billion (down -40.8%)
  5. Computers, optical readers: -$3.6 billion (down -29.1%)
  6. Temperature-change machines: -$2.2 billion (down -3%)
  7. Electro-medical equipment (e.g. xrays): -$1.5 billion (down -31.7%)
  8. Aluminum oxide/hydroxide: -$1.4 billion (down -0.2%)
  9. Miscellaneous machinery: -$1.4 billion (down -40.9%)
  10. Blood fractions (including antisera): -$1.3 billion (down -27.1%)

Russia’s red ink in global trade diminished for all 10 of these top products, led by: cars (down -70.3%), miscellaneous machinery (down -40.9%), automobile parts and accessories (down -40.8%), medication mixes in dosage (down -39.3%) and electro-medical equipment including xrays (down -31.7%).

Country+

In 2015, Russia generated a robust surplus subtotal worth $96.4 billion with the following 10 trading partners.

  1. Netherlands: US$37.3 billion (down -32.6% since 2011)
  2. South Korea: $8.7 billion (up 393.9%)
  3. Italy: $8.3 billion (down -43.4%)
  4. Turkey: $7.6 billion (down -12.6%)
  5. Japan: $7.6 billion (down -1078%)
  6. Latvia: $6.4 billion (up 3.8%)
  7. Kazakhstan: $6 billion (down -17%)
  8. Poland: $5.7 billion (down -61%)
  9. Belgium: $4.5 billion (up 52.2%)
  10. Belarus: $4.4 billion (down -57.4%)

Growing at the fastest pace were Russian trade surpluses with South Korea (up 393.9%), Belgium (up 52.2%), and Latvia (up 3.8%).

Over the five-year period, Russia’s positive net exports declined with seven of its top partners led by: Japan (down -1,078%), Poland (down -61%), Belarus (down -57.4%) and Italy (down -43.4%) .

Country-

Russia experienced a losing international trade relationship with 74 countries, islands or territories. The following 10 trade partners created a -$22.3 billion deficit subtotal in 2015 from exchanging exports and imports.

  1. China: -US$6.9 billion (down -48.6% since 2011)
  2. United States: -$3.1 billion (down -212.8%)
  3. Germany: -$3.1 billion (down -79%)
  4. France: -$2.5 billion (down -343.1%)
  5. Austria: -$1.6 billion (down -43.8%)
  6. Vietnam: -$1.2 billion (up 72.9%)
  7. Indonesia: -$1.1 billion (up 14.1%)
  8. Brazil: -$1 billion (down -55.8%)
  9. Thailand: -$974.4 million (down -707.9%)
  10. Ecuador: -$893.5 million (down -20.1%)

Up 72.9%, Russia’s trade deficit with Vietnam grew the fastest from 2011 to 2015. Russia’s negative net exports with Indonesia expanded by a more modest 14.1%.

Russia trimmed the size of its negative trade balances with the remaining eight top partners, led by: Thailand (down -707.9%), France (down -343.1%), United States (down -212.8%) and Germany (down -79%).


See also Russia’s Top 10 Major Export Companies and Russia’s Top 10 Exports

Research Sources:
Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on November 15, 2016

Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on November 15, 2016

The World Factbook, Field Listing: World, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on November 15, 2016

Wikipedia, Economy of Russia. Accessed on November 15, 2016