Occupied Crimea. Exports and Imports in 2014-2020

The Monitoring Group of BlackSeaNews
and the Black Sea Institute of Strategic Studies

presents an updated series of articles
«The Socio-Economic Situation in Occupied Crimea in 2014 – 2020


Back in the USSR. The Reverse Restructuring of the Crimean Economy

The "Trophy Economy". Militarization as a Factor of Industrial Growth

The "Trophy Economy". The Development of the Stolen Ukrainian Black Sea Shelf

The Commercial Exploitation of Marine Biological Resources

The Crimean "Trophy Economy". The Sale of Ukrainian Property

The Occupied Crimean Tourism

Occupied Crimea. Exports and Imports in 2014-2020

The Banking System and Investment in Crimea: What is Really Happening on the Occupied Peninsula

The Replacement of the Population of Crimea: How Many Colonizers Have Actually Moved to the Peninsula

Water in Occupied Crimea: No Catastrophe. Just a 50-Year Step Backwards

The Crimean Budget. Small Business. Salaries and Pensions


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In 2013, foreign exports from the Crimean Peninsula amounted to 904.9 million dollars, and foreign imports totalled 1.044 billion dollars; Sevastopol’s exports and imports were valued at 99.8 million dollars and 106.9 million dollars, respectively.

The Crimean occupation government’s statistics have never been a reliable source of information. But even these data reveal some telling results of "international economic activity " (See Figure 1 and Figure 2).

Figure 1. Crimean exports and imports in 2013-2019, according to official data, million U.S. dollars
Figure 2. Sevastopol’s exports and imports in 2013-2019, according to official data, million U.S. dollars

Thus, in 2019, exports from Crimea decreased by 26.9 times in dollar terms compared to 2013, the last pre-war year, and exports from Sevastopol dropped by 15.6 times. The decline in imports over the same period was by 17.3 times in Crimea and by 16.97 times in Sevastopol.

Let us illustrate some indicators of international economic activity with the authors' own investigations.

In 2014-2020, the exports from the ports of occupied Crimea have been as follows:

  • grain to Syria, Northern Cyprus, Lebanon, Libya, Egypt, and Turkey (until 2018) from Sevastopol, Kerch, and Feodosiia;
  • scrap metal to Turkey (until 2019), Romania (until 2017), and Albania from Sevastopol and Feodosiia;
  • soda ash to Russia, Romania (until 2017), Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt from Sevastopol and Feodosiia;
  • liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) from the gas terminal at the Kerch Fishing Sea Port to Bulgaria (until 2017), Turkey (until 2019), Syria and Lebanon (until 2019);
  • re-export of Russian fuel from the Feodosiia oil depot to Syria (2020).

Imports to Crimean ports have been as follows:

  • building materials (cement, сlinker bricks, gypsum, construction mixtures, сrushed stone) from Turkey; сrushed stone from Abkhazia (until 2019);
  • the chemical raw material ilmenite from Norway (2017) and Turkey (re-export).

The main export commodity of occupied Crimea is grain (See Figure 3).

Figure 3. Grain yields in occupied Crimea in 2014-2020, million tonnes

A significant part of grain exports is carried out through transshipment in the Kerch Strait, at Port Kavkaz Anchorage No. 451 in Taman. This allows mixing Crimean grain with grain from the regions of the Russian Federation to disguise the fact that it originates from the occupied territory. This grain is then shipped to countries that adhere to international sanctions.

The maximum volume of grain exports was recorded in 2017 when it reached 588 thousand tonnes, it decreased to 422 thousand tonnes in 2018, and to 300 thousand tonnes in 2019 (See Table).

The main imports to Crimea are ilmenite (the chemical raw material for the production of titanium dioxide at the Crimean Titan plant in Armiansk, northern Crimea) and construction materials. Part of the ilmenite is also imported through transshipment in order to circumvent sanctions (See Table).

Exports from Crimea in 2018 - 2019, thousand tonnes





422 000

300 000

Scrap metal

70 000

21 000

Soda ash


25 000

18 000

Imports to Crimea in 2018 - 2019, thousand tonnes





200 000

162 900

Crushed stone

33 300

29 900

Construction materials

66 800

13 300


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This article has been published with the support of ZMINA
Human Rights Centre.
The content of the article is the sole responsibility of the authors.