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Russian non-resource non-energy export volumes reached heights in 2019

24 february 2020

According to 2019, the total volume of Russian non-resource non-energy exports (NRE) reached $ 154.5 billion, which was 0.2% more than in record-breaking 2018.

This indicator was achieved amid difficult conditions. 2019 was the year of worsening global economic situation in terms of many goods that are important for Russian export. Low export prices cause many manufacturers not sell abroad but create stock reserves in anticipation of higher prices. The growth of exports was also hindered by increased global protectionism and trade wars.


To reduce the impact of these negative factors on Russian foreign trade, the government pursues diversification. And the results of 2019 speaks for its positive effect. The share of NRE in total Russian exports amounted to 36.5% compared to 34.3% in 2018. The diversification inside the NRE was intensified due to the increased shares of smaller industries producing precious metals, vegetable oils, chemicals, fertilizers, cars,  while the shares of ferrous metals and grain producers decreased

Veronika Nikishina
CEO of REC


Despite the negative situation, the volumes of NRE, according to REC, increased by 2.7% in 2019. That is, exporters created and delivered more products to the foreign markets, although they earned less. According to Veronika Nikishina, the fact that 2019 NRE has exceeded last year’s figures in monetary terms also demonstrates that stimulating measures can increase production and compensate for adverse conditions.

In 2019, the volume index increased in almost all NRE sectors. Negative dynamics was observed in the export of grain and fish, which was due to the high base of 2018. In 2018, due to a record crop, Russia delivered unprecedentedly large volumes of wheat abroad. And the rich fishing season of 2018 ensured the high volumes of fish export. Engineering remained at almost the same level (-0.1%). Other sectors, demonstrated higher volumes of export compared to those of 2018.

At the end of 2019, the Ministry of Industry and Trade adjusted the methodology for calculating export indicators in connection with the addition of some commodities to NRE indicators that have been previously avoided. Therefore, indicators for the recent years have been recalculated. For example, in 2018, non-resource exports amounted to $ 154.2 billion (- $ 151.4 billion according to the old method).

In 2019, every eighth dollar was earned by non-resource exporters thanks to support measures provided by Russian Export Center. REC-supported exports totaled $19.5 billion., i.e. 12,6% of the total amount of $154.5 billion. Besides, REC assisted more than 11 thousand exporters, 80% of which were SMEs.

In 2019, the highest growth rates in monetary terms were delivered by the following NRE sectors: meat and dairy (+ 29.8%), oil and fat products (+ 28%), food and processing sector (+ 12.7%) as compared to 2018. Exports of pharmaceuticals, perfumes and cosmetics grew by 10.1%, consumer goods – by 7.7%. Fish and seafood exports increased by + 3.6% due to the increased supply of crab. A slight increase of + 1.2% is delivered by metallurgical products and precious metals exports.

The chemical industry showed a decrease in the volume of exports in monetary terms (-2.8%). This was preliminary due to the drop in prices for almost the entire range of oil and gas chemicals. Wood and paper exports decreased by 6.7%, being negatively affected by the overall economic situation. Some enterprises restrained export supplies due to low prices and accumulated reserves. Engineering exports decreased by 0.5%, although some segments demonstrated stable growth. For example, the export of cars increased by 23.6% in monetary terms.

As mentioned above, a decrease in grain exports (-24.3%) occurred against the background of great volumes of wheat and other cereals (barley, corn, rye) supplied in 2018. Missed volumes were replaced by other agro-industrial sectors. This allowed exceeding the target indicator of $ 24 billion set for agro-industrial industry by $ 1.6 billion in 2019.  


Top 10 countries imported Russian NRE products in 2019:

  1. China ($14.5 billion; +19%);

  2. Kazakhstan ($12.04 billion; +10%);

  3. Belarus ($10.56 billion; +2%);

  4. Turkey ($7.79 billion; +10%);

  5. Netherlands ($7.67 billion; +17%);

  6. United Kingdom ($7.58 billion; +229%);

  7. USA ($6.44 billion; -17%);

  8. Egypt ($5.4 billion; -14%);

  9. Germany ($4.49 billion; -11%);

  10. India ($4.43 billion; -14%).

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