Over the five months of 2021, the import of Russian oil and oil products to the United States increased by more than three quarters. For other commodities, purchases in dollar terms also rose strongly, despite the current sanctions, RBC reports, with reference to the statistics provided by the US Census Bureau. According to the Federal Statistics Service (Rosstat), the United States ranks sixth in Russian trade after China, Germany, the Netherlands, Belarus, and the United Kingdom.
In general, imports of Russian goods to the United States for five months of 2021 increased by one and a half times compared to the same period a year ago, reaching almost $11.5 billion ($11,461.4). Thus, in January-May 2021, imports of mineral fuel, oil and oil products from Russia to the United States increased by 78 per cent (from $3.8 to $6.7 billion) over the same period last year. Imports of precious and semiprecious metals and stones grew by almost one and a half times year-on-year, to $1.6 billion (from less than $1.1 billion). Imports of Russian fertilizers to the United States increased by 35 per cent, to $0.5 billion, while imports of iron and steel from Russia increased by a quarter, to $0.7 billion.
However, the data of the Federal Customs Service (FCS) of Russia on exports to the United States for five months is significantly lower ($6.1 billion, an increase of 26 per cent in annual terms), which experts associate with a different methodology for assessing customs value, as well as the fact that in the export data of the FCS, only deliveries directly to the United States are taken into account, while the data of the American side on imports cover all goods of Russian origin, regardless of the country from which they directly came.
It is specified that the oil category is dominated by supplies of petroleum products (almost $3.1 billion in five months of 2021, +70 per cent in annual terms). In the category of precious and semi-precious metals, $1.08 billion fell on the supply of palladium. The supplies in the fertilizer category for five months were mainly represented by nitrogen ($323.5 million) and potash fertilizers ($167 million).
In addition, the growth was shown by supplies of iron, steel, aluminium, and nickel from Russia to the USA. Also, the US import statistics showed an increase in supplies from Russia for a number of non-commodity product categories. Thus, imports of Russian frozen crabs grew from $263 million to $395 million in January-May. Also, the Census Bureau statistics reflected the import delivery of a batch of rocket engines from Russia worth $126.2 million, which took place in April 2021.
Thus, according to the US Census Bureau, in the first five months of 2021, Russian exports to the United States have almost reached the level of the entire 2020 ($11,461.4 now and $16,901.1 in 2020), though have not shown yet the values of the pre-coronavirus times ($20,845.0 in 2018, $23,659.6 in 2014, or $34,619.0 in 2011).