As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, with civilian casualties mounting, sanctions and export controls designed to limit Russia’s military capabilities and restrict Russia’s access to international trade are being broadly enforced by Western nations. Import Genius has been utilizing our Russian trade database to explore the impact of these moves - exploring shipping volumes at the HS code, company, and country levels - and help both illustrate their scale and identify which trade flows and companies are the most impacted.
At the country level, an analysis of top exporters to Russia from 2019 to 2021 (through August) showed a striking trend. According to our data, Germany was Russia’s top trading partner in terms of USD value of goods exported to Russia (including currency shipments by banks). Over $40 billion flowed into Russia from Germany in 2019, followed by China ~with ~$29 billion, and then Switzerland (~$25B), Austria (~24B), Ireland (~$15B), Hong Kong ($13B). Rounding out the top 10, in order, were the Netherlands, Italy, France, and the UK.
In 2020, trade values plummeted - likely due to Covid. In this contracted market, Germany only edged out China by $2B, with $17.1B compared to China’s $15.4B. With trade expanded in 2021, China’s relative growth soared and they took the lead with $23.5B versus Germany’s $18.7B.
Austria’s Raiffeisen Bank, due to currency shipments, consistently holds the top position in terms of shipments by company to Russia in USD yearly. In 2019, this accounted for $19B out of the ~$24B in shipments originating from Austria overall. More recent yearly totals have been smaller, with $1.3B in 2020 and $6.9B in 2021, but this may help explain Raiffeisen’s initial reluctance to end operations in Russia. The Financial Times has reported that Raiffeisen is now considering an exit, despite Russian operations making up a third of their profit.
Apple Distribution International, an Irish subsidiary of Apple, also appears consistently as one of the top exporters to Russia. With a sum of $3.9B in shipments between 2019 and August of 2021, consisting largely of computers and assorted tech, they’re likely to be hit heavily by export controls.
On the HS code level, exporters shipped $162B worth of items under the four digit heading 8471 into Russia between 2019 and August 2021. This heading corresponds to computers and computing devices of all kinds, including RAM and graphics cards, as well as more niche finished computing components. Shipments under headings 8541 and 8542 during the same period totalled $31B. These headings cover the vast majority of semiconductors, including loose chips, diodes, and sensors. Since lasers were specifically targeted by export controls, we explored HS code 9013.20 and found $212M worth of shipments during the surveyed period.