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What products does the USA import from Russia and Ukraine?

As war wages in Eastern Europe the disruption caused and sanctions imposed will have consequences for nations around the world who import goods from the region.

As war wages in Eastern Europe the disruption caused and sanctions imposed will have consequences for nations around the world who import goods from the region.

Since Russian forces invaded Ukraine in late February the United States, along with allies around the world, has sought to impose severe economic sanctions against Russia.

Russia boasts an economy worth around $1.5 trillion annually and is reliant on the US for its export market, with products as varied as gasoline and vodka proving extremely popular around the world.

But the conflict in Eastern Europe has also had a significant impact on the exportation of products from Ukraine too, another nation which relies on the US to sell goods. Ukraine’s entire economy has been thrown into disarray as its population looks to repel the invading Russian military.

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We take a look at the products and resources from each nation that are sold in huge quantities in the States…

Russia – US trade is based on massive natural resources

Russia is, by some distance, the largest country in the world and it covers around 11% of the total landmass of the planet. With such a huge area, it is no surprise that its export market is bolstered by the huge wealth of resources at its disposal.

Territory controlled by Russia is used to produce huge amounts of wheat, corn and other crops. Wheat in particular is a big export market and Russian wheat accounts for around 17% of the global supply.

As well as being a major export market in their own right, grains are also a key ingredient in one of the most famous Russian products: vodka. In the first half of 2021 Russian vodka exports to the US were worth around $18.5 million, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.

A report from the White House Trade Representative with Russia showed that in 2019, the most recent year for which information is available, the top import category was mineral fuels at a total value of $13 billion. This includes crude oil, which is a key constituent part in the production of gasoline, and natural gas.

In a distant second, precious metal and stone, such as platinum, had an annual import value of $2.2 billion, while the market for iron and steel was worth a combined $1.4 billion.

In 2019 US imports from Russia totalled $22.3 billion, up by a massive 22.3% on the figure recorded ten years previous.

Ukraine boasts the most fertile agricultural land in the world

With a rich back soil known and vast agricultural land, Ukraine is often referred to as the ‘breadbasket of Europe’ for its enormous production of grains and other crops. However the US has the capability to produce huge quantities of these products itself, and so primarily relies on the Ukrainian market for other resources.

The most prolific sectors in 2019 were iron and steel ($567 million) and iron and steel products ($170 million). The invasion of Ukraine as seen the price of steel in particular soar in recent days and benchmark steel prices in the US are up around 21% since Russian forces first crossed the border.

Although the US is generally reluctant to import agricultural goods, it did purchase around $143 million of agricultural products from Ukraine in 2019. This was in large part due to the $48 million of fruit and vegetable juices and $31 million of vegetable oils imported.