Russian exports increased to Asian countries, offsetting the decline to Europe

Russian exports to Europe fell by more than two-thirds in 2023, after the EU drastically reduced its purchases of Russian oil and gas, according to official data published on Monday.

photo chess pieces with the Russian flag on the right and the EU on the left

Russian exports to Europe have decreased massively Photo: Shutterstock

Russia’s goods exports to Europe fell by 68% last year to 78.8 billion euros ($84.9 billion), the Russian Customs Administration reported, cited by the Interfax news agency. According to these data, Russian imports from Europe also decreased, by 12.3%, up to 78.5 billion dollars, reports AFP.

On the other hand, Russian exports to Asia, the region that replaced Europe as the main customer for Russian energy, increased by 5.6% to 284 billion euros ($306.6 billion). This, while Russian imports from countries on the Asian continent increased by 29.2%, up to 174 billion euros ($187.5 billion).

In total, Russian exports fell by 28.3% in 2023 compared to 2022, the Russian Customs Administration said, highlighting Moscow’s persistent difficulties in replacing former European trading partners with new Asian customers, but and from Africa and South America. The cost of the conflict in Ukraine therefore remains an important one for Moscow, despite the Kremlin’s insistence that the Russian economy is resisting the sanctions imposed by the West and is reorienting itself towards other markets.

Overall, Russia’s trade surplus fell to 130 billion euros ($140 billion) in 2023, a 58.5 percent drop from 2022, when Moscow collected high revenues from energy exports after that the invasion of Ukraine caused oil and gas prices to explode and Europe continued to buy energy from Russia for much of that year.

After the West introduced sanctions against Russia, following the start of the offensive in Ukraine, the Russian Customs Administration stopped publishing numerous statistical data, including data related to the balance of trade with each country.

However, statistics published in the middle of last month by the Chinese Customs Administration show that trade between China and Russia reached a record level of 220 billion euros ($240 billion) last year, and China has become Russia’s main economic partner. .

Also, for the first time in history, the value of Chinese yuan deposited in Russian banks at the end of 2023 was higher than the value of US dollars, according to data from the Central Bank of Russia.

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