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Russia's share of EU trade drops below 2%

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Russia's share of European Union trade fell below 2% in the second quarter, EU data released on Friday showed, with the bloc's trade deficit with the country hovering around record lows.

Since Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the EU has imposed a series of sanctions on Moscow and sought to reduce its reliance on Russian energy product imports.

Russia's share of EU goods trade was consistently below 2% for all months from March to June, the data showed, with imports from Russia at 1.7% of EU trade in June and exports at 1.4%.

From 2002 to 2022, Russia's share of EU imports was in a range of 7-10%, with exports around 4-6%.

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Russia previously supplied about 40% of EU natural gas imports and almost 30% of its incoming oil.

In the second quarter of 2023, these shares had fallen to 21% and 2% respectively, reflecting both reduced volumes and prices lower than mid-2022 peaks.

Of Russia's principal exports, only its share of EU fertiliser imports were higher in the second quarter than a year earlier, although this was still below the 2021 level.

The EU trade deficit with Russia was also consistently below 1 billion euros ($1.08 billion) for each month of the second quarter, having hit just 73 million euros in March, the lowest level since data going back to 2002.

The deficit with Russia was only below 1 billion euros previously in the period from April to September 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic depressed demand for and prices of energy products. ($1 = 0.9223 euros)

(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Conor Humphries)