The sharpest decline was recorded in shipments of nuclear fuel and palladium

Supplies of Russian goods to the US have fallen to their lowest level in 18 years, news outlet RBC reported on Tuesday, citing data from the US Census Bureau.

June imports from Russia to the US amounted to $661 million, the lowest since February 2004, when they stood at $653 million. The figure dropped 1.7 times in one month and was nearly five times lower than the monthly average of $2.5 billion in 2021.

According to Census data, the sharpest decline was recorded in shipments of nuclear fuel, platinum group metals and fertilizers. US imports of Russian nuclear fuel fell to less than $3 million in June, down from nearly $114 million in May. Imports of Russian platinum group metals, including palladium, fell to $76.3 million compared to $258.5 million in the previous month. Supplies of mineral fertilizers also plunged, despite the fact that Washington removed these from the list of sanctioned goods, falling to $88.8 million against $135.5 million in May.

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US exports to Russia also dropped to a new record low of $58 million. Overall, mutual trade turnover between the two countries in June was four times less than their average monthly turnover in 2021 (around $3 billion).

At the end of 2021, the US was Russia’s fifth largest trading partner. Following the launch of Russia’s operation in Ukraine in late February, Washington blocked imports of Russian oil and petroleum products (which accounted for about 60% of Russian imports to the US), as well as Russian seafood, diamonds and other goods. As a result of these sanctions, as well as restrictions on transactions with Russian companies, the US lost its position to Turkey, whose trade turnover with Russia in June surpassed $5.88 billion.

China remains Russia’s largest trading partner. Chinese exports to Russia, which sagged in the first months after the start of the special military operation in Ukraine, have now recovered and surpassed last year’s figures at $6.77 billion in July, according to China’s General Customs Administration.

Russia stopped publishing trade statistics back in February.

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