The UK’s trade with Russia and Ukraine slumped significantly in 2022 as a result of the war that began in February last year, according to new ONS data released at the end of last week.
Exports to Russia halved from just under £3bn in value across the whole of 2021 to just over £1bn in all of 2022, while exports to Ukraine fell from £670m to £419m.
Imports were similarly impacted, with goods from Russia down from £10.5bn to just over £5bn; for Ukraine, imports were down from £831m to £374m.
The data includes the first seven or so weeks of 2022 before Putin’s illegal invasion commenced.
The data comes ahead of a free webinar from the Institute of Export & International Trade (IOE&IT) tomorrow (14 February) about the impact of the war on global trade, which you can sign up to here.
Although it’s almost a year since the start of the war, data won’t be available for trade over the February 2022 to February 2023 period until the spring. However, the latest ONS data shows that the war had an immediate impact on trade flows between the UK, Russia and Ukraine.
In February 2022, UK goods exports to Russia were worth £245m, but in March this dropped to £89m and by December 2022 this had dropped to £50m.
Similarly for Ukraine, exports dropped from £65m in February 2022 to £20m in March, though it partially recovered to £55m in value in December.
According to a November report by the ONS, services trade has also been impacted, with imports from Russia estimated to have fallen to £177m in Q3 in 2022, down 17.5% compared to the quarterly average for the four quarters leading up to March 2022; exports of services decreased by 49% to £233m.
The government has said that over £20bn of trade in goods with Russia is now subject to full or partial sanctions, with exports of machinery and transport equipment decreasing by 98% as a result.
According to the ONS, UK sanctions have had a direct impact on UK-Russia trade and it also raises the effect of self-sanctioning, “whereby traders voluntarily seek alternatives to trading with Russian enterprises”.
The IOE&IT webinar tomorrow at 2pm will include expert advice from the IOE&IT and the new Department for Business and Trade about the sanctions that are now in place and how businesses can ensure compliance with them.
It will also feature analysis from trade policy and economics experts on the wider impact of the war on global trade. This includes professor Trevor Williams, a former chief economist at Lloyds Bank, a visiting professor at the University of Derby and co-founder of FXGuard.