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Foreign Trade in 2021: Export Growth Driven by a Leap in Prices

Alexander Yu. Knobel – Head of Foreign Trade Department of the Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy; Director of Center for Foreign Trade Department of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration; Director of the Institute for International Economics and Finance, Russian Foreign Trade Academy, Candidate of Economic Sciences (Moscow, Russia). Е-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Alexander S. Firanchuk – Senior Researcher of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, PhD in Economics (Moscow, Russia). Е-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In 2021, Russia’s trade turnover increased by 38% to $785 bn, the maximum level since 2014. Appreciation of prices for fuel and energy commodities (+61%) amid stable volumes of exports (-1,7%) made it feasible to increase the value of exports to $267 bn (+59%). The record-high value of $197,8 bn worth of non-primary non-energy exports (+31.0%) was entirely driven by the price momentum (+31,2%) with export volumes of these commodities remaining unchanged (-0,2%). It is noteworthy that exports of machinery and equipment increased the most. No pickup in export volumes of food, metals and timber despite a leap in prices can be probably substantiated by the introduction of export duties and quotas. Unlike exports, an increase in the value of imports to $293,4 bn (+26,7%) was driven both by a rise in prices (+10,4%) and substantial growth in the volume of imports (+15,0%).

In contrast to exports, the increase in the value of imports to $293.4 bn (+26,7%) was due not only to rising prices (+10,4%), but also to a significant increase in physical volumes of imports of these goods (+15,0%).

Key words: foreign trade, export, import, non-primary non-energy exports.

JEL-codes: F10, F14.