LONDON – Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the imposition of new Western sanctions against Russia have fuelled fears about supplies of key commodities produced and exported by Russian companies.
See for a Factbox on commodity price gains since the close on Feb. 23, the day before the invasion started.
Following are some details about Russia’s major commodity exports.
Russia is the world’s third largest oil producer after the United States and Saudi Arabia with output of 11 million barrels per day (bpd).
It rivals Saudi Arabia for the title of the world’s largest oil exporter with around 7 million bpd of crude and oil products exported abroad, of which Asia takes around a half while Europe, the United States and the rest of the world take the rest.
Russia is the world’s second largest gas producer after the United States and the largest exporter, with flows going predominantly to Europe and covering 40% of the continent’s gas needs.
Russia is the world’s sixth largest coal producer with output of 400 million tonnes of coal, amounting to more than 5% of global production.
It is the world’s third largest exporter, shipping more than half its output overseas, with China being the main destination.
Most Russian metal producers have so far escaped sanctions imposed by the West since Moscow annexed the Crimea in 2014.
One exception is the world’s largest aluminium producer outside China, Rusal, under sanctions imposed by the United States between April 2018 and early 2019.
Rusal produced 3.8 million tonnes of aluminium in 2021, about 6% of the estimated world production.
Europe, Asia and North America are Rusal’s main markets. Miner and commodity trader Glencore has a long-term deal running until 2025 to buy primary aluminium from Rusal.
Data from U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) shows Russia produced 7,600 tonnes of cobalt last year, more than 4% of the global total.
Russia was the second largest producer, far behind the Democratic Republic of Congo which produced 120,000 tonnes.
Nornickel is the largest producer in Russia, selling 5,000 tonnes in 2021. Nornickel sells most of its output to Europe.
Russia produced 920,000 tonnes of refined copper last year, about 3.5% of the world total, according to USGS, out of which Nornickel produced 406,841 tonnes.
Asia and Europe are the main export markets.
Nornickel is the world’s top producer of refined nickel. It produced 193,006 tonnes in 2021 or about 7% of global mine production estimated at 2.7 million tonnes. It sells to global industrial consumers under long-term contracts.
PALLADIUM AND PLATINUM
Nornickel is also the world’s largest producer of palladium and a major producer of platinum.
It produced 2.6 million troy ounces of palladium last year or 40% of global mine production and 641,000 ounces of platinum or about 10% of total mine production.
Russia is the world’s third largest producer of gold after Australia and China and accounts for about 10% of global mine production, which according to the World Gold Council totalled 3,500 tonnes last year.
Russian gold is produced by companies that include Polyus and Polymetal. Russian miners mainly sell their gold to the country’s commercial banks which then export it.
Russia’s VSMPO-Avisma supplies titanium to Boeing and Airbus.
Data from USGS shows Russia produced 27,000 tonnes of titanium sponge and Ukraine 5,400 tonnes last year, 15% of the global total at 210,000 tonnes.
Russia produced 76 million tonnes of steel or nearly 4% of the global total, according to the World Steel Association.
Severstal, NLMK, Evraz, MMK and Mechel are Russia’s main producers. They export about half of their production, mainly to Europe.
State-controlled Alrosa, the world’s largest producer of rough diamonds, produced 32.4 million carats in 2021, about 30% of the global total. It exports mostly to Belgium, India and the United Arab Emirates.
Russia is a major producer of potash, phosphate and nitrogen containing fertilisers – key crop and soil nutrients. It produces more than 50 million tonnes a year of the fertilisers, 13% of the global total.
Phosagro, Uralchem, Uralkali, Acron and Eurochem are the biggest players.
They export to Asia and Brazil.
Russia and Ukraine are both major wheat suppliers, accounting for a combined 29% of global exports, the bulk of which go through ports in the Black Sea.
The movement of vessels on the smaller Azov Sea has already been suspended and if shipments are disrupted from the Black Sea it will leave major importers, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa, scrambling to find alternative supplies.
Ukraine is one of the world’s top four corn (maize) exporters along with the United States, Argentina and Brazil.
The two countries also account for about 80% of global exports of sunflower oil.
(Reporting by Pratima Desai, Moscow newsroom, Nigel Hunt and Dmitry Zhdannikov; Editing by Susan Fenton)