Ireland spent twice as much on Russian imports in March this year as it did in 2021, despite troops invading Ukraine and imposing sanctions.
Imports of Russian oil, animal feed and fertilizers pushed total imports to 81 million euros in March, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO), compared to 48 million euros in the same month last year.
Imports from Russia also rose in March from €56 million in February. Vladimir Putin’s forces invaded Ukraine on February 24.
For all of last year, imports from Russia to Ireland amounted to €598 million, or about 0.6 percent of the €103 billion total of goods imported.
According to the CSO, Ireland imported nearly €40 million worth of fuel oil from Russia in March, up €16 million from February. In March, a Russian oil tanker docked at Dublin Port, despite demands from the Siptu union that it be turned away.
While a post-invasion price hike may have impacted the value of imports into Ireland, the amount of heating oil imported in March was also up month-on-month.
Fertilizer imports amounted to €27 million in the month, while imports of briquettes, lignite and peat were €146,763.
Ireland also imported €930,000 worth of timber products from Russia in April, while iron and steel imports hit €34,977 across a range of categories.
Animal feed was also in demand, imports of €11.9 million were reported.
The European Union has unveiled five packages of sanctions against Russia since its troops invaded Ukraine. The EU has been banning the import of iron and steel from Russia since mid-March, although an exception applies to contracts concluded before March 16 until mid-June.
Irish aircraft lessors were also hit hard by sanctions in March that required EU lessors to cancel all existing leases with Russian operators, prompting companies to scramble to salvage and repossess affected aircraft.
In early April, the EU banned imports of certain fertilizers, timber, cement, seafood and spirits. The EU has also banned all imports of the key fertilizer potash from Belarus in response to Belarus allowing Russian troops to invade Ukraine from its sovereign territory.
Ireland currently imports 1.7 million tonnes of fertilizer annually, with 600,000 to 650,000 tonnes of this coming from companies sanctioned by the EU.
A total ban on Russian coal will come into effect in the EU from August, with the European Commission currently pushing for a similar embargo on Russian oil.
“The EU has tried to impose an oil embargo and at the moment it seems to be sticking with Hungary,” said economist Edgar Morgenroth.
“It is possible to impose an embargo without Hungary to immediately shut down this oil product and cut trade in half.”
The Dublin City University professor says imports from Russia are unlikely to sustain this momentum.
“Russia will have a hard time getting stuff out even if it’s not sanctioned. Maersk no longer does business with Russia. It has a big impact on the container trade,” he said.
“You would probably expect trade to slow down next quarter.”
https://www.independent.ie/business/irish/imports-from-russia-doubled-to-80m-in-march-despite-sanctions-41680986.html Imports from Russia doubled to 80 million euros in March despite sanctions