That estimated dollar metric results from an 11.6% increase compared to $449.3 billion in 2018.
Year over year, the total value of Russian exports flatlined due to a 1.8% gain from $492.3 billion for 2021.
Based on the average exchange rate for 2022, the Russian ruble depreciated by -9.3% against the US dollar since 2018 but appreciated by 7% from 2021 to 2022. The Russian Federation’s weaker local currency since 2018 makes Russian exports paid for in stronger US dollars relatively less expensive for international buyers.
Russia’s 5 most valuable export products in 2022 were crude oil, petroleum gases, refined petroleum oils, coal, and unwrought aluminum. In aggregate, those major exports accounted for 63.1% of overall exports sales from Russia. Such a high percentage suggests that the Russian Federation sells a relatively concentrated range of exported goods on global markets.
Russia is a world leader for exporting wheat and ranks among the most lucrative for global sales of crude oil, refined petroleum oils and coal.
Best Russian Exports Customers
The latest available country-specific data is from 2021. Those statistics show that 63.4% of products exported from Russia was bought by importers in: mainland China (14% of Russia’s global total), Netherlands (8.6%), Germany (6%), Türkiye (5.4%), Belarus (4.7%), United Kingdom (4.5%), Italy (3.9%), Kazakhstan (3.8%), United States of America (3.6%), South Korea (3.43%), Poland (3.4%) and Japan (2.2%).
From a continental perspective, just over half (50.8%) of Russia’s exports by value was delivered to fellow European countries while 39.9% was sold to importers in Asia. Russia shipped another 4.4% worth of goods to North America.
Smaller percentages went to buyers in Africa (3%), Latin America (1.8%) excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean, then Oceania (0.1%) led by Australia and New Zealand.
Given Russia’s population of 143.4 million people, its total $501.3 billion in 2022 exports translates to roughly $3,500 for every resident in the vast Eurasian country for 2022. That metric exceeds the per-capita average of $3,400 in 2021.
Russia’s Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Russian global shipments during 2022. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Russia.
- Mineral fuels including oil: US$348.3 billion (69.5% of total exports)
- Iron, steel: $21.5 billion (4.3%)
- Fertilizers: $17.4 billion (3.5%)
- Gems, precious metals: $16.9 billion (3.4%)
- Aluminum: $10 billion (2%)
- Wood: $8.6 billion (1.7%)
- Fish: $7.8 billion (1.6%)
- Cereals: $7.24 billion (1.4%)
- Copper: $7.16 billion (1.4%)
- Inorganic chemicals: $5.8 billion (1.2%)
Russia’s top 10 exports accounted for over two-thirds (89.9%) of the overall value of its global shipments.
Mineral fuels including oil was the fastest grower among the top 10 export categories, up by 64% from 2021 to 2022. Russian exporters benefits from greater sales of crude oil, petroleum gases, refined petroleum oils, coal and related products.
In second place for improving export sales were inorganic chemicals via a 46.3% advance.
Russia’s shipments of fertilizers posted the third-fastest gain in value, up by 38.9%.
The severest decliner among Russia’s top 10 export categories was gems and precious metals, pulled down by a -46.7% year-over-year drop. Lower revenues were recorded for exported Russian gold, platinum, silver and diamonds.
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.
Products Generating Highest Trade Surpluses for Russia
Overall Russia generated an estimated $318.8 billion trade surplus during 2022, a 60.3% expansion from the $198.8 billion surplus one year earlier for 2021.
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.
- Mineral fuels including oil: US$346.7 billion (Up by 65% since 2021)
- Iron, steel: $19.6 billion (Down by -14.4%)
- Fertilizers: $17.3 billion (Up by 40.1%)
- Gems, precious metals: $16.4 billion (Down by -46.1%)
- Aluminum: $9.1 billion (Up by 25.8%)
- Wood: $8.2 billion (Down by -24.9%)
- Cereals: $7 billion (Down by -20.8%)
- Fish: $6.6 billion (Up by 75.5%)
- Copper: $5.9 billion (Up by 38.6%)
- Nickel: $4.9 billion (Up by 155.2%)
Russia has highly positive net exports in the international trade of crude and refined oils, petroleum gases and coal. In turn, these cashflows indicate Russia’s strong competitive advantages under the mineral fuels including oil category.
Products Causing Highest Trade Deficits for Russia
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.
- Machinery including computers: -US$31.5 billion (Down by -27.7% since 2021)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: -$18.5 billion (Down by -39.8%)
- Vehicles: -$13.6 billion (Down by -41%)
- Pharmaceuticals: -$12.9 billion (Up by 14.5%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: -$6 billion (Down by -14%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: -$5.3 billion (Down by -17.1%)
- Fruits, nuts: -$4.1 billion (Down by -21.9%)
- Footwear: -$3.2 billion (Down by -5.3%)
- Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: -$3.1 billion (Down by -17.3%)
- Other chemical goods: -$2.7 billion (Down by -1.3%)
Russia has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits for machinery including computers.
These cashflow deficiencies clearly indicate Russia’s competitive disadvantages in the international machinery market, but also represent key opportunities for Russia to improve its position in the global economy through focused innovations.
Major Russian Export Companies
Almost 30 Russian corporations rank among Forbes Global 2000. The following companies are selected examples of leading companies headquartered in Russia.
- Gazprom (oil, gas)
- Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel (iron, steel)
- Mechel (iron, steel)
- Severstal (iron, steel)
- Sistema (telecommunications)
- Surgutneftegas (oil, gas)
Wikipedia also lists large international trade players from Russia.
- Alrosa (diversified metals)
- LukOil (oil, gas)
- Norilsk Nickel (diversified metals)
- Novatek (oil, gas)
- Novolipetsk Steel (iron, steel)
- Rosneft (oil, gas)
- Tatneft (oil, gas)
- Transneft (oil and gas equipment)
- UC Rusal (aluminum)
- Uralkali (specialized chemicals)
Searchable List of Russia’s Most Valuable Export Products
The following searchable table displays 100 of the most in-demand goods shipped from the Russian Federation during 2022. Shown beside each product label is its total export value and, under the YOY column, the percentage increase or decrease from 2021 to 2022.
|Rank||Russia's Export Product||2022 Value (US$)||YOY|
|3||Processed petroleum oils||$69,000,515,000||-1.4%|
|4||Coal, solid fuels made from coal||$38,344,031,000||+118.1%|
|6||Iron or non-alloy steel products (semi-finished)||$8,632,485,000||-5.9%|
|9||Refined copper, unwrought alloys||$6,601,453,000||+71.6%|
|15||Whole fish (frozen)||$3,831,753,000||+58.9%|
|17||Crustaceans (including lobsters)||$2,692,969,000||+1.1%|
|18||Hot-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products||$2,242,198,000||-57.8%|
|20||Radioactive chemical elements||$2,073,016,000||0%|
|24||Nickel matte, oxide sinters||$1,896,332,000||+75.8%|
|25||Coal tar oils (high temperature distillation)||$1,739,686,000||+2509%|
|27||Iron ores, concentrates||$1,730,684,000||-54.6%|
|28||Chemical woodpulp (non-dissolving)||$1,543,143,000||+19%|
|29||Iron ore reduced products||$1,378,176,000||-13.4%|
|30||Laminated wood (including plywood, veneer panels)||$1,323,663,000||-31.6%|
|33||Copper ores, concentrates||$995,201,000||-20.4%|
|34||Carbon including carbon blacks||$994,339,000||+46.7%|
|35||Coiled iron or non-alloy steel bars, rods||$969,078,000||-13.4%|
|38||Fish fillets, pieces||$867,723,000||+41.5%|
|40||Petroleum oil residues||$800,218,000||+81.2%|
|41||Uncoated kraft paper||$798,104,000||-6.1%|
|44||Miscellaneous oil cakes||$674,007,000||+16.7%|
|46||Iron or non-alloy steel bars, rods||$635,184,000||-43%|
|49||Cold-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products||$577,072,000||-17.3%|
|50||Rubber tires (new)||$555,451,000||-58.9%|
|51||Nuclear reactors, fuel elements||$545,272,000||-48%|
|52||Flat-rolled iron or non-alloy steel products (plated/coated)||$538,890,000||-54.5%|
|53||Flat-rolled other alloy steel products||$523,669,000||-28.7%|
|55||Precious metal ores, concentrates||$497,574,000||-46.4%|
|56||Dried shelled vegetables||$496,084,000||-22.4%|
|59||Lead ores, concentrates||$475,830,000||-16%|
|60||Iron or steel scrap||$475,711,000||-73.4%|
|61||Nickel ores, concentrates||$445,489,000||+48.5%|
|63||Newsprint (rolls or sheets)||$422,803,000||+5.1%|
|67||Soya-bean oil-cake, other solid residues||$416,749,000||-14.6%|
|69||Fuel wood, wood chips, sawdust||$388,976,000||-20%|
|70||Heterocyclics, nucleic acids||$362,125,000||-14.9%|
|71||Bran, other residues||$350,744,000||+40.8%|
|72||Chocolate, other cocoa preparations||$348,274,000||-59.7%|
|76||Beet-pulp, brew/distilling waste||$325,234,000||+24.1%|
|78||Vinyl chloride polymers||$323,074,000||-23.6%|
|79||Miscellaneous iron and steel structures||$321,510,000||-56.2%|
|80||Particle board, other ligneous materials||$319,387,000||-52.8%|
|81||Zinc ores, concentrates||$317,581,000||-1.9%|
|82||Ligneous fiberboard including wood||$312,007,000||-35%|
|83||Iron or steel tubes, pipes||$299,650,000||-60.1%|
|84||Medication mixes in dosage||$298,783,000||-63.1%|
|85||Miscellaneous iron or steel tubes, pipes||$294,017,000||-64.8%|
|86||Aluminum plates, sheets, strips||$281,872,000||-18.4%|
|87||Hydrazine, inorganic salts||$281,571,000||+21.2%|
|89||Miscellaneous animal feed preparations||$253,857,000||-20.4%|
|90||Alloy steel bars, rods||$253,201,000||-59.6%|
|93||Bread, biscuits, cakes, pastries||$234,237,000||-57.9%|
|95||Iron and steel tubes, pipes||$217,357,000||-43.9%|
|96||Glass bottles, jars, pots, other containers||$213,586,000||-10.4%|
|97||Inedible meat flour||$213,188,000||+45.6%|
|99||Wood carpentry, builders' joinery||$206,855,000||-55.4%|
These 100 exported goods were worth a subtotal of US$437.9 billion or roughly 87% by value for all products exported from the Russian Federation during 2022.
In macroeconomic terms, Russia’s total exported goods represent 10.5% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2022 ($4.771 trillion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 10.5% for exports to overall GDP per PPP in 2022 compares to 11.1% one year earlier. Those percentages suggest Russia’s relatively decreasing reliance on products sold on international markets for its total economic performance–albeit based on a short timeframe.
Another key indicator of a country’s economic performance is its unemployment rate. Russia’s unemployment rate averaged 3.942% in 2022, down from an average 4.825% for 2021 according to the International Monetary Fund.
Related Read: Russia’s Top 100 Consumer Product Exports
See also Russia’s Top 10 Imports, Russia Top Trading Partners, Top Russian Trade Balances and Russia’s Top 10 Major Export Companies
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook: Country Profiles. Accessed on June 11, 2023
Forbes 2018 Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on June 11, 2023
International Monetary Fund, Exchange Rates selected indicators (Domestic Currency per U.S. dollar, period average). Accessed on June 11, 2023
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on June 11, 2023
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on June 11, 2023
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on June 11, 2023
Richest Country Reports, Key Statistics Powering Global Wealth. Accessed on June 11, 2023
Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on June 11, 2023
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Russia. Accessed on June 11, 2023
Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on June 11, 2023