Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Even though the country exports in all these categories, its imports in the same categories are significant, and Wisconsin companies can supply some of these imports.

Wisconsin companies may want to consider exporting to the Russian market in these three surprising product areas that Russia imports:

Wheat and other grains

For the past few years, Russia has logged record-breaking agricultural production. The country is now the world’s leading exporter of wheat and rye, and is among the top suppliers of barley, oats and other crops. Yet, despite this, data from Russia’s Federal Customs Service shows that the country is still importing grain. In 2016, the country spent $343.9 million on crops.

Crude oil, gas and petrol

Although Russia is one of the world’s largest energy exporters, it also imports energy commodities and products. For instance, last year Russia imported oil products worth more than $750 million, and $122.4 million in natural gas. In 2016, these imports largely came from CIS countries such as Kazakhstan and Belarus, as well as from Finland, one of Russia’s long-term trading partners.


Cars, equipment and machinery form another group of goods that Russia is widely known to export, but last year these categories accounted for a large segment of the country’s imports—nearly half, according to official data. Most imported machinery is supplied by European producers. These are not only brand-new cars, yachts and household appliances, but also investment imports.

Which other goods does Russia import?

  • $182.3 billion – total value of Russian imports in 2016
    $86.3 billion – vehicles, machinery and equipment
    $33.8 billion – rubber and chemical products
    $24.9 billion – food and agricultural products
    $11.8 billion – metals
    $10.9 billion – textiles and footwear

Sources: Russia’s Federal State Statistics Service, Federal Customs Service