A spotlight on Alberta’s trade with Russia
Despite the limited trade exposure, we can expect the current sanctions being imposed on Russia and the overall disruption in economic activity to weigh on our bilateral trade volumes and prices
By Siddhartha Bhattacharya, ATB Economics 10 March 2022 2 min read
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has sent shock waves through the global economy. While Russia is not one of Alberta’s larger trading partners, we are still likely to see some impact on our export sector going forward.
Total goods exported to Russia nationally amounted to $657 million in 2021. This was up 4% from 2020 and made Russia Canada’s 39th largest international export destination. Aerospace product and parts manufacturing constituted the majority (18.5%) of these exports, making Quebec the largest exporter to Russia within the country. Meanwhile, Ontario sold $227 million worth of goods (mostly machinery and chemical manufacturing products) to Russia last year, second highest in value among the provinces.
Canada, on the other hand, is a much larger consumer of Russian products. The total value of goods imported from Russia was $2.1 billion in 2021, over three times more than what was exported that year, making Russia our 28th largest source of imports.
As with exports, manufacturing is the most dominant industry on this front, led by fertilizers, which alone constituted over one-fifth of all goods imported from Russia last year. Canada also imported roughly $348 million worth of refined petroleum products from the Russian Federation in 2021, with Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador consuming over 90% of the aggregate.
Alberta’s trade exposure to Russia is lower than central Canada’s. Alberta’s merchandise exports to Russia stood at $58 million in 2021, representing only 0.4% of our international exports to all non-U.S. destinations. This included $18.5 million worth of industrial machinery and battery manufacturing products. Meanwhile, Alberta’s imports* from Russia came in at $32.6 million last year with tire and primary metal manufacturing products accounting for over 80% of the basket.
Despite the limited trade exposure, we can expect the current sanctions being imposed on Russia and the overall disruption in economic activity to weigh on our bilateral trade volumes and prices.
*Note that customs-based trade statistics underestimate merchandise imports into Alberta because the imports are attributed to the province of landing rather than the province of purchase.
Answer to the previous trivia question: The Canadian–American Reciprocity Treaty was in effect from 1854-1866.
Today’s trivia question: By how much did the annual value of global merchandise trade contract in 2020?