By Jamie White

March 8, 2022



Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree blocking certain exports and raw materials from leaving Russia until December 31.

“In order to ensure the safety and smooth functioning of the industry, I decided…To ensure the application of the following special economic measures until December 31, 2022,” the decree says.

These include “a ban on exports outside of the Russian Federation’s territory and (or) imports to the Russian Federation’s territory of products and (or) raw materials according to lists determined by the Russian government,” which will take effect immediately.

The Russian Federation will announce what specific goods and raw material exports will banned in the coming days.

The following table lays out Russia’s top 20 exports (in millions of USD annually):

1 Crude petroleum 183,748
2 Refined petroleum 70,646
3 Natural gas 42,892
4 Coal 14,074
5 Semi-Finished Iron 6,997
6 Aluminium 6,638
7 Wheat 6,211
8 Gold 5,845
9 Diamonds 4,677
10 Mixed Mineral or Chemical Fertilizers 4,255
11 Nickel 4,186
12 Nitrogenous Fertilizers 3,850
13 Potassic Fertilizers 3,643
14 Sawn Wood 3,448
15 Hot-Rolled Iron 3,273
16 Copper wire 3,011
17 Synthetic rubber 2,919
18 Iron ore 2,813
19 Radioactive Chemicals 2,583
20 Refined Copper 2,528

This geopolitical development comes after Joe Biden declared on Tuesday a total ban on Russian oil and gas imports to punish Russia over its incursion into Ukraine.

The Kremlin has warned that sanctions against Russian oil and gas would unleash “catastrophic consequences” and lead to $300 a barrel global oil prices.

Notably, Russia is the world’s leading wheat exporter, combined with Ukraine accounting for nearly 30% of global wheat exports.

Wheat prices have skyrocketed to their highest level in 14 years following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Russia is also a top 10 exporter of other grain crops, including barley, corn, rye and oats.

Additionally, Russia is top exporter of fertilizers, and if that material is blocked from the global market, experts warn it could cause a “catastrophic” global food crisis.

“Half the world’s population gets food as a result of fertilizers…and if that’s removed from the field for some crops, [the yield] will drop by 50%,” Svein Tore Holsether, head of agri company Yara International, told the BBC on Tuesday.

Putin’s decree “On the Application of Special Economic Measures in the Sphere of Foreign Economic Activity for the Purpose of Ensuring the Security of the Russian Federation”: