Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent economic sanctions on trade, imports of goods from Russia decreased to £33 million in June 2022 and are at the lowest level since records began in January 1997, according to the Office for National Statistics.
There were no imports of fuels from Russia in June 2022 for the first time since records began.
There were no imports of fuels from Russia in June 2022; the first month since records began in January 1997 that the UK imported no fuel from Russia. This is a decrease of £499 million (100%) compared with the monthly average for the 12 months to February 2022.
On 8 March 2022, the UK Government announced that the UK would phase out Russian oil imports by the end of the year, and end imports of Russian liquefied natural gas as soon as possible thereafter. While imports of oil are allowed during this transition period, businesses have been encouraged to secure oil from alternative sources, which has resulted in a sharp and continued decrease of fuel imports since March 2022.
Imports of all commodities decreased compared with the monthly average for the 12 months to February 2022.
Although exports to Russia slightly increased in June 2022 compared with the previous month, their levels have dropped by £168 million (66.9%) compared with the monthly average for the 12 months to February 2022.
Exports of most commodities to Russia had decreased substantially by June 2022, with machinery and transport equipment decreasing by £118 million (91.3%).
Chemicals were the only commodity exported to Russia that increased over this period, driven by an increase of £39.1 million (61.8%) in exports of medicinal and pharmaceutical products, which are exempt from sanctions.
The economic sanctions applied by the UK Government are likely to have driven the decreases in imports from and exports to Russia; however self-sanctioning, whereby traders voluntarily seek alternatives to Russian goods, is also likely a factor.