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Only three weeks on, Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine has profoundly affected the global economy, which was already upended by Covid-19. SA has little direct trade with Russia or Ukraine, so the immediate effects arise from disruption of global markets. Unless Russia withdraws soon, however, the war could cause a global slowdown, reversing the recovery from the pandemic. 

Trade with Russia and Ukraine accounted for less than 1% of SA’s total imports and 0.5% of exports in 2020. Copper cable comprised a third of imports from Russia, with wheat, petroleum and fertilisers making up most of the remainder. SA accounted for 0.16% of Russian exports, but 3% of its exports of copper cables. SA imports from Ukraine were even smaller, consisting principally of wheat and other agricultural products and contributing less than 0.1% of Ukrainian exports. SA exported mostly horticultural products to the two countries, with mining equipment and minerals (mostly manganese to Russia and chro...

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