January 16, 2023

Chart of the Week: Trade between China and Russia increases

by Fathom Consulting.

The trade relationship between China and Russia is strengthening amid EU sanctions against Russia due to the war in Ukraine. China’s exports to and imports from Russia both increased by 19% in 2022. This contrasts with China’s global exports and imports, which decreased by 6% and 7% respectively, according to data from China’s General Administration of Customs. There are mutual benefits for both countries, with China receiving discounted crude oil, and Russia increasingly exporting oil and gas to China to make up for European sanctions. Whereas China’s total imports of liquified natural gas decreased by 18% from January to November 2022, Russia massively increased its exports of liquified natural gas to China. In December 2022, a new gas field came online in Eastern Siberia, making it possible for Russia to increase gas exports to China even further. In November, Russia overtook Saudi Arabia as China’s biggest oil supplier. The December fall in the country’s imports from Russia reflects decreasing demand as China deals with the largest COVID-19 outbreak to date globally. However, demand is expected to increase again as China’s population gains immunity.

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