EU-Russia Agrifood Trade Increases

In 2023, Italy became the main importer of grain from Russia to Europe

Trade in agro-industrial products between the European Union and Russia amounted to 9 billion euros last year. Janusz Wojciechowski, the European Commission member responsible for agriculture, told at a press conference that the bulk of European imports from Russia are cereals, the growth of purchases of which Brussels is now trying to slow down. The slowdown is partly intended to meet the demands of European farmers, who are actually protesting duty-free Ukrainian exports, and partly to bring agro-industrial trade with Russia in line with the anti-Russian sanctions policy.

“The European Council decided to impose some duties on this type of trade with Russia, reducing imports,” Wojciechowski said. He specified that in 2022 Russia exported to European countries “about 2.5 million tons of cereals, including one million tons of grains and 1.5 million tons of oilseeds.” There were some changes last year, but the total number stayed pretty much the same.

In 2023, Italy became the largest importer of Russian wheat – 478 thousand tons. In second place was Latvia with 360,000, and in third place was Lithuania “with a significant amount,” the European Commission member said. He added that “the European Union exported 7 billion euros worth of agro-industrial goods” to Russia, “while importing 2 billion.”