Shipments of Nornickel Harjavalta have become the only category of Finnish exports to Russia, which increased in the first five months of 2022, according to foreign trade statistics published by the Finnish Customs Service on July 7.
Merchandise exports increased over the same period last year by 30.7% and reached 6.9 billion euros. In the first five months of the year export deliveries increased by 24.4%.
Finnish export to the EU countries increased by 39.6%, mainly to Germany (+40.6%) and Sweden (+38.5%). The record growth rate was recorded in the American and Dutch directions - 81.2% and 87.6%, respectively. The supplies to Russia decreased by 44.7%, and to China - by 11.2%. The only category of exports to Russia that increased year-on-year was copper semi-finished products from Norilsk Nickel's Harjavalta.
The value of imports by May 2021 increased by 26.5% to 8.1 billion euros, an increase of 37.5% in January-May.
Among the key trading partners of Finland, Russia dropped to the 7th place with imports of 453.0 million euros and exports of 170.4 million euros.
According to July 6 Finnish economic publication Talouselämä, Nornickel Harjavalta's role in the Finnish economy will grow, including through investments in production expansion.
"The investment in the plant's expansion consists of two phases. The first phase will increase nickel production from the current 65,000 tons to 75,000 tons. This should be realized as early as next year," says Joni Hautojärvi, CEO of Nornickel Harjavalta, in a comment to Talouselämä.
Norilsk Nickel accounted for about 27 percent of Europe's nickel imports last year, according to consulting firm Wood Mackenzie.
If this flow to the west stops, the price of nickel is likely to rise sharply, Talouselämä writes. This, in turn, would complicate the massive investments in battery gigafactories planned in the EU, as well as the tightening of the EU's zero-emission goal, the Finnish publication said.
Production of gasoline and diesel vehicles in the EU is expected to cease by 2035.