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Russia's 10 Largest Trading Partners in 2014, How Many In The Correct Order Can You Name?


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For the first 7 months of 2014 total Russian trade turnover shrank 1% to reach $471 billion. Imports fell 4.8% to $169 billion.  Exports rose 1.2% to $302 billion. Consequently, the trade balance stood at $133 billion - an increase of 9.9% on the $121 billion for the same period last year. 

1. China
Total trade with China reached $52 billion - 11% of all Russian trade. This is 4.6% higher than last year. China and Russia have set themselves a target of $200 billion annually by 2020.  They are expected to beat that easily after announcing deals this year worth over a trillion dollars. 

<figcaption>How Many Did You Know?</figcaption>
How Many Did You Know?

2. Netherlands
Total trade with Netherlands reached $45 billion representing 9.6% of all Russian trade. This is 0.1% lower than last year. Historically Netherlands has been Russia's largest European trading partner due to a very strong bilateral investment treaty. 

3. Germany 
Total trade with Germany reached $41 billion representing 8.7% of all Russian trade. This is 0.2% lower than last year. German companies such as Siemens are very large exporters as machinery is the most important German export component to Russia. 

4. Italy
Total trade with Italy reached $30 billion representing 6.4% of all Russian trade. This is 2.2% lower than last year. Italian-Russian trade relations have historically been very good.  Should South Stream come to fruition trade will rise further. 

5. Ukraine
Total trade with Ukraine reached $20 billion representing 4.3% of all Russian trade. This is 5% lower than last year. Given that Ukraine's dollar denominated GDP print in 2014 will be around $100 billion this shows just how economically dependent Ukraine is on Russia. 

6. Belarus
Total trade with Belarus reached $19 billion dollars representing 4% of all Russian trade. This is 7.9% lower than last year. In the longer-term the two countries should have a much larger trade owing to the Customs Union and the planned unification of their currencies. Like Ukraine, Belarus with a GDP of $70 billion is hugely dependent on Russia. 

7. Turkey
Total trade with Turkey reached $18.3 billion representing 3.9% of all Russian trade. This is 1.5% higher than last year. Turkey became Russia's second largest natural gas market last year.  With Turkey looking for entry into the Customs Union one can soon expect Turkey eventually to join the top 5 of Russia's trade partners. Russia and Turkey are targeting mutual trade of $100 billion by 2020, which would make Turkey Russia's second biggest trade partner after China. 

8. Japan
Total trade with Japan reached $18.22 billion representing 3.9% of all Russian trade. This is 3.2% lower than last year. A trip to Vladivostok and the Far-East of Russia shows how important Japan is to the local economy there. Japan is a major exporter of cars to the region. 

9. USA
Total trade with the USA reached $18.20 billion representing 3.9% of all Russian trade. This is 21.8% higher than last year. American demand for Russian Kalashnikovs and Russian steel companies exports of low cost steel (currently in over-supply) has caused an extraordinary 22% jump in trade despite sanctions. Russia is a major exporter to the US of metals such as titanium which is vital for the US aircraft industry. 

10. South Korea
Total trade with South Korea reached $16 billion representing 3.4% of all Russian trade. This is 14.3% higher than last year. Korea like Japan is heavily present in Russia's Far-East.  Korean auto-companies like Kia are also very successful there. Russia is also a major market for Samsung. Relations between Russia and South Korea are economically very strong with talks underway on building a gas pipeline.

Poland came 11th (3.1% of trade), Kazakhstan 12th (2.6%), UK 13th (2.6%), France 14th (2.4%), Finland 15th (2.1%) and Latvia 16th (2%). The French and British trade figures are weaker than those of other European countries in part because both countries import very little energy from Russia. 

As to the question of the proportion of oil in Russian exports and whether Russia is just a "gas station", the figures are: Oil 32.1% , Gas 12.4%.,  Metals 7.7%, Machinery 4.5% and Agricultural Produce 3.4%. 

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