Abstract This paper examines the export implications for natural gas and aluminium of Russia's ongoing economic transition. The rapid run-up in aluminium exports and the formation of a large capacity surplus (‘bubble’) in natural gas are seen as a direct result of the drastic shifts in the level and mix of aggregate demand, and the marked rise in the real price of these commodities. Based on a set of macroeconomic, structural and price assumptions, the paper provides a set of quantitative projections for the prospective evolution of Russian domestic demand for aluminium and gas, and draws out the potential implications for the international markets. For natural gas, the capacity hangover is seen to deflate by 2000, in tandem with the buildup of domestic consumption. In the case of aluminium, the recently experienced ‘export bubble’ is predicted to ease back gradually, and eventually disappear by 2005.