In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a year earlier, Thai exports to Russia decreased 43.3% to $585.44 million in 2022. According to the Department of Foreign Trade, exports of heavy vehicles were hardest damaged, falling by 74.01%. (DITP). Exports are projected to continue to decline in 2023, it was stated.
Vehicles, tires, canned and processed fruits, machinery and mechanical parts, refined oil, canned seafood, processed rubber, rice, and food seasoning made up the top ten Thai exports to Russia.
According to Phusit Ratanakul Sereroengrit, director-general of the Department of Foreign Trade Promotion, “Cars, equipment, and components, which are high-value products and have always been Thailand’s No. 1 export product in the Russian market, account for 30% of all Thai exports to Russia.”
The value of Thai vehicle exports to Russia, however, has decreased by 74.01% after the invasion of Ukraine, from 10.234.45 billion baht in 2021 to 2.659.96 billion baht in 2022.
However, in 2022, other Thai exports to Russia increased dramatically. Exports of rice increased by 372.94%, those of refined oil by 62.77%, those of canned and processed seafood by 61.14%, and those of food seasoning by 41.33%.
Since the commencement of the war, the cost of international shipping as well as plane travel to Russia has tripled.
Exporters to Russia have reacted by moving their cargo to Vladivostok, a Russian port that is northeast of Thailand.
Exporters were unable to get payment from Russian importers when the country was prohibited by Western sanctions from using the international money transfer system (Swift). Since then, many Russian importers have changed, with some even creating accounts with foreign banks to facilitate international money transfers.
The DITP noted that since many Western products are no longer sold in Russia, Thai exports have more potential.
In particular, auto components, which are in great demand in Russia, are predicted to boost exports of automotive equipment and accessories in 2023.
The value of Thai exports to Russia would continue to fluctuate significantly, it was stated, because there is no end in sight to the war.
The DITP stated that the value of Thai exports to Russia increased in 2022. These shipments included refined oil, canned and processed seafood, and food seasoning.