Our figure of the month 03/2022: German-Russian Import Dependence
Raw Materials versus High Technology
The EU's four sanctions packages against Russia were adopted quickly and in great unity. In the meantime, sanctioned Russian banks have also been partially excluded from the SWIFT system, but a complete exclusion of Russia from SWIFT has so far been avoided. The sanctions are undisputed in view of the war - but are also subject to economic calculations, among other things. One economic determinant, for example, is the mutual import dependence between Russia and Germany, which is shown in this month's figure.
Two things become immediately clear from the chart: Russia is far more dependent on German imports in terms of volume: While German exports to Russia account for just under 2%, Russian exports to Germany account for 5% of total exports. However, Germany's import dependence on Russian exports is much more concentrated. Almost 90% of all imports from Russia are either pure raw materials such as crude oil, natural gas or coal, or processed raw materials such as basic metals or coke products. Products that are sourced almost exclusively for Germany's energy supply. Russia, in turn, imports from Germany in particular goods from the mechanical engineering, automotive and chemical industries. Goods that are generally highly technical and require special know-how to manufacture.
The EU's export ban is aimed precisely at the import needs of the Russian economy. Although the loss of export revenues will affect German companies, it is likely to have a relatively minor impact on the economy as a whole, given the relatively small volume of exports to Russia as a proportion of Germany's total exports. For Russia, the loss of imports is likely to be much more noticeable. So far, Russia has not stopped its raw material deliveries to Germany. However, given its high dependence on imports, a reduction or halt in supplies would have a severe impact on Germany. Alternative energy sources are only available to a limited extent and not at short notice. However, a supply stop on the part of Russia would also mean a loss of revenue for Russian energy suppliers.
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