Russia is one of the world’s largest producers of many commodities necessary for modern society.
Inflation was taking place well before, but since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the price of gasoline has soared. That’s because Russia is the second-largest crude oil exporter globally, only behind Saudi Arabia. Man-on-the-street interviewees routinely express shock when told of this fact.
Russia also happens to be the world’s largest exporter of natural gas, with most of that going to Europe through pipelines (and Russia’s exports of natural gas are almost triple U.S. exports of natural gas).
When it comes to agriculture, Russia is a top supplier of the world’s fertilizer, its wheat is exported globally, and it is the world’s second-biggest shipper of sunflower oil.
Also, Russia is a key supplier of industrial metals. China, Europe, and the U.S. are the largest buyers of Russian nickel—a critical metal for electric car batteries. The ripple effects are felt at the gas station and the grocery store as well as in unexpected ways – for example, Tesla has raised its car prices twice in just the last few weeks because of soaring nickel prices. (Chart and data from Bloomberg)