Rich in natural resources, Russia boats the largest natural gas reserves in the world, the second largest coal reserves and the eighth largest oil reserves. All these resources constitute a major portion of Russia’s exports. In fact, 80% of Russia’s exports constitute oil, natural gas, metals and timber. In March 2010, a customs union was inaugurated to achieve the economic reintegration of Russia with Belarus and Kazakhstan. This union aims to boost trade among the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) nations, make the member nations more competitive and promote investment opportunities. The new tariff system is expected to unleash a flood of imports to Russia and its union partners. It would also strengthen Russia’s trade ties with Central Asia, the Baltic States and Central and Eastern European countries.
Meanwhile, Russia’s trade with India is expected to reach $10 billion in 2010, up from $8.4 billion in 2009. According to Russian trade experts, bilateral trade with India has risen over the past couple of years due to large volume of high-tech exports. Manufacturing, energy, steel production, construction and agriculture are expected to be the prime trading sectors for 2010 and beyond.
Russia’s trade relationship with Australia is expected to improve in 2010 after a rocky 2008 and 2009. Commodities like beef are expected to be the prime trading component between the two countries. Agricultural products also are expected to dominate much of Russia’s imports from Australia.
Russia Trade: Exports and Imports
Russia’s primary export commodities include petroleum and petroleum-based products, natural gas, wood, wood products, metals, chemicals, and defense equipment. The following chart shows Russia’s breakdown of exports in 2008-2009. All data are in USD billion.
Russia’s exports in 2008-2009
The next chart shows a breakdown of Russia’s primary export partners in 2008. All data are in percentages.
Russia’s exports partners in 2008
Russia’s primary import commodities include vehicles, industrial machinery, plastics, medicines, iron and steel, consumer goods, and meat. The following chart shows Russia’s breakdown of imports 2008-2009. All data are in USD billion.
Russia’s imports in 2008-2009
Russia’s currency is Ruble (RUB). The following chart shows RUB’s exchange rate per US dollar from 2005 to 2009.
RUB’s exchange rate per US dollar 2005-2009