Russia’s dependence on exports to Asia rises as business with Europe falls

A container is lifted from a truck to be placed on a ship at the port of Kuala Tanjung in Batubara Regency, North Sumatra, on March 28. (JP/ Apriadi Gunawan). Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

LONDON, Feb 12, 2027, Reuters. Russia’s dependence on trade with Asia rose sharply in 2023 while its business with European markets plunged, with Asia’s share of Russian exports and imports rising to 72% and 68% respectively, Russian customs service data showed, Reuters reported.

Russia’s customs service kept exports and imports in tonnage hidden on Monday, but the two tables it disclosed still showed that its reliance on Asian countries rose sharply in both directions of trade in reaction to Western sanctions.

Russia’s 2023 total exports fell by 28.3% to $425.1 billion with supplies to Europe down 68% to $84.9 billion, according to the data. Meanwhile, exports to Asia rose by 5.6% to $306.6 billion while the share of this region in Russia’s exports climbed to 72% from 49% in 2022.

Russia’s 2023 total imports rose by 11.7% to $285.1 billion as supplies from Europe fell by 12.3% to $78.5 billion, while imports from Asia rose by 29.2% to $187.5 billion.

The customs service also reported both directions of trade for separate products but combined them into broad groups.

This data showed that Russia’s total imports rose in 2023, with machinery, equipment, vehicles and other related products jumping by 24% to $146 billion.

Exports of what the customs service called “mineral products” – including energy products such as oil – fell by 33.6% to $260.1 billion, while exports of metals and metals products declined by 15% to $60 billion.

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