CHELYABINSK, February 15 (RIA Novosti) - The Chelyabinsk Region's external turnover increased by 7% in 2006 as against the previous year and amounted to $6.7 billion, the Ministry of Economic Development of the Chelyabinsk Region told RIA Novosti.
The region's export exceeded $5 billion, and import - $1.6 billion.
The Chelyabinsk Region maintains economic relations with about 120 countries. The biggest export operations are conducted with Turkey, the Netherlands, Iran, Italy and the U.S. The biggest importers last year were Germany, China, Italy, Poland and Finland.
Export prevails in the region's external trade. Priority exports are raw materials: ferrous and non-ferrous metals accounted for about 80% of exports in 2006.
The major import items are concentrates (ores, slags and calx) - 35% last year, said the ministry.
The Chelyabinsk Region ranks among Russia's top ten regions for industrial output. Metallurgy is the main industry. Iron and steel industry enterprises produce 27% of Russia's total rolled stock and steel output, and 13,5% of steel pipes.
The Chelyabinsk Region is situated 2,300 km southeast of Moscow, on the border of Europe and Asia.