Eurostat: EU trade in goods with Russia remains low

European Union trade with Russia has been strongly affected by import and export restrictions imposed by the EU following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with both exports and imports dropping considerably below the level prior to the invasion, EU statistics agency Eurostat said on November 24.

Seasonally adjusted values show that Russia’s share in extra-EU imports fell from 9.5 per cent in February 2022 to two per cent in September 2023, while the share of extra-EU exports fell from 3.8 per cent to 1.4 per cent in the same period.  

In March 2022, a peak trade deficit with Russia amounted to €18.6 billion due to high prices of energy products.

This deficit was brought down to 0.1 billion euro in March 2023 and did not change much until September 2023 when it amounted to a billion euro. This change was heavily influenced by the drop in the monthly value of imports from Russia, Eurostat said.

Altogether, natural gas, petroleum oils, nickel, iron and steel and fertilisers account for around two-thirds of total extra-EU imports from Russia.

Between the third quarter of 2021 and the third quarter of 2023, Russia’s share in extra-EU imports of natural gas decreased significantly (-27 percentage points, pp) while the opposite was observed for imports from the United States (+14 pp), Norway (+7.6 pp) and Algeria (+5.5 pp). 

A similar phenomenon was observed for extra-EU imports of petroleum oils, with a decrease of Russia’s share (-25 pp), while the respective shares of the US (+7 pp), Norway (+4 pp), and Saudi Arabia (+2 pp) increased. 

In the case of nickel imports, the United States expanded their share (+5 pp) while Russia’s share declined (-14 pp). 

China emerged as the primary supplier for iron and steel (share increasing by 5 pp) following a drop in imports from Russia (share decreasing by 9 pp).

However, trade in fertilisers shows a different pattern, Eurostat said.

Russia’s share in extra-EU imports decreased from 27 per cent in the third quarter of 2021 to 17 per cent in the third quarter of 2022, but bounced back to 27 per cent in the third quarter of 2023.

(Photo: Kgbo)

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