BOFIT Viikkokatsaus / BOFIT Weekly 2018/07

The value of both goods exports and goods imports rose by about 25 % in dollar terms in 2017. The value of goods exports amounted to 350 billion dollars and goods imports 240 billion dollars.

The rise in exports was due to both price and volume changes. Prices of oil and metals rose, while the export volume of oil and oil products contracted by 5 % and the export volume of metals remained flat. Natural gas export volume, in contrast, rose by about 5 %. The volume of exports of machinery, equipment & vehicles grew by 24 %, although presumably partly due to one-off deliveries. The volume of food exports grew by 22 %, mainly on last year's record grain harvest. Most of Russia's exports consisted, as usual, of oil, petroleum products and natural gas. They accounted for nearly 60 % of total exports last year. The preliminary estimate of the Russian officials of the value of arms exports last year was around 15 billion dollars, or about 4 % of goods exports.

All goods imports categories showed fairly brisk growth. Growth in the value of imports was led by machinery, equipment & vehicles (up 28 %), buoyed by a moderate recovery in investment demand. The value of imports of chemical products was up 17 % and foodstuffs 16 %. Imports in several food categories were also up slightly in volume terms.

The structure of goods trade by country remained practically unchanged. EU countries continued to account for over 40 % of Russia's trade turnover, Asian countries just under 30 %, countries in the Eurasian Economic Union 9 % and the US 4 %. China was Russia's largest single trading partner in terms of both exports (11 %) and imports (21 %).

Growth in value of Russian goods imports by country, 2017

Source: Russian customs.