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Alberta’s trade with Russia

Alberta’s trade with Russia

Posted on: 7/25/2018 | Author: ATB Financial's Economics + Research Team

​​With US-Russian relations in the news, it’s a good time to take a look at Alberta’s economic connections to Russia.

According to the International Monetary Fund, Russia is the 12th largest economy in the world, just behind South Korea in 11th place and Canada in 10th.

Despite the large size of the Russian economy, we sell relatively little to Russian buyers. As of last year, Alberta’s merchandise exports to Russia came to $112 million. That $112 million is no doubt quite important to the specific businesses involved, but it amounts to just 0.1 per cent of our total exports. It’s the same story for Canada as a whole. Canada exported $671 million to Russia in 2017 or about 0.1 per cent of total exports.

In terms of what we sell to Russia, dog and cat food tops the list at $22.5 million in sales in 2017 (about 20% of Alberta’s total exports to Russia). Bundled together, various types of machinery account for $72.5 million (65 per cent) of our exports to Russia.

With the imposition of Canadian sanctions (including a ban on goods for use in offshore, Arctic and shale oil exploration or production) against Russia in response to its annexation of Crimea in 2014, Alberta’s sales of machinery to Russia fell by 55 per cent ($89.6 million) between 2014 and 2017.

On the one hand, Russia is not a major destination of our exports, so any geopolitical events that affect our trade with it will have only a small impact on our overall economy. On the other hand, Russia is the 12th largest economy in the world and the second largest exporter of oil. As such, Russia’s relations with other countries have the potential to affect the global economy and oil prices, both of which can have an impact on economic growth here at home in our province.

Alberta trade with Russia, graph​ ​​​

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