Trade of the Soviet Union
By Ronald Chan
Official name: Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (abbreviation: USSR)
Dissolved: 1991Form of government: Marxist-Leninist single-party union
Population: Lowest at 137,727,000 (January 1920), peak at 293,047,571 (July 1991)
1961 series Soviet 100-ruble banknote, featuring Vladimir Lenin and the coat of arms of the USSR on the obverse side, and the Kremlin Vodovzvodnaya Tower on the reverse side.
1991 series Soviet 500-ruble banknote, featuring Vladimir Lenin and the coat of arms of the USSR on the obverse side, and the Kremlin Presidium and Spasskaya Tower on the reverse side.
20-kopek coin, 1987
After the end of the Second World War in 1945, the Soviet Union has become a fully developed nation and superpower, exports start to emphasize more on manufactured industrial goods than agriculture. Many other socialist countries have been established around the world (most of whom joined the COMECON, an international economic alliance between socialist states), and to most of those countries, exports from the Soviet Union emphasized the most on oil, as COMECON prices for Soviet oil were lower than world oil prices (especially during the 1970's and 80's). By 1985 weapons exports to third-world countries amounted to over 50%.
In the early decades of the Soviet Union, Soviet exports were largely focused on agricultural products.
In the post-WWII era, in terms of exports to other Socialist countries, oil exports takes first place. Pictured here is the largest oilfield in the Soviet Union in Baku, Azerbaijan.
The Soviet Union was one of the top exporters of weapons to third-world countries. Pictured here is a Soviet-made T-55 tank being used in the Indian Army during the 1971 Indo-Pakistani War (India was among the USSR's top third-world customers).
In the post-WWII and Cold War era, the Soviet Union's closest trading partners were the COMECON socialist states. By the time Eastern Europe's industrial base had been rebuilt from the ruins of WWII and further expanded, the Soviet Union imported largely manufactured industrial goods from the socialist states, in return for oil exports from the Soviet Union to the socialist states. By the 1980s, the Soviet Union's imports from third-world countries largely consist of agricultural products, half of them being grain.
In the early decades of the Soviet Union, cotton makes the Soviet Union's top imported commodity, second to it being industrial equipment.
Manufactured Industrial Import
In the Cold War era, Soviet imports from other Socialist countries largely consists of manufactured industrial goods. Pictured here is the East German Trabant car ("trabbies"), which were widely sold all over the Warsaw Pact states.
By the 1980s, Soviet Imports from thrid-world countries during the largely consists of agricultural products, half of them consists of grain. Pictured here are various types of grain imported from India.
Manufactured Industrial Import
The Accomplishment of Soviet Trade
Weighing the Benefits of Soviet Trade
But trading with the Soviet Union does come with drawbacks, exports of the Soviet Union sacrifices a considerable portion of its quality for its quantity; the quality of Soviet large-quantity exports have comparably mediocre quality.
In the end for a country to truly benefit from trading with the Soviet Union, it must import in large quantities from the Soviet Union and be massively sold in low price at its own domestic market. For example, if a country's national armed forces is to import Soviet weaponry, it must be sure that its armed forces must be large in size, and the Soviet weapons imports must be bought in a large quantity to be distributed among its military.
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"Soviet Union - The Council for Mutual Economic Assistance." Country Data. Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress, 1989. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.
"Soviet Union - Balance of Trade." Country Data. Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress, 1989. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.
"Soviet Union - Composition of Trade." Country Data. Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress, 1989. Web. 18 Apr. 2016.