China’s imports from and exports to Russia rose to a record peak of 1.28 trillion yuan last year.
Trade with Russia accounted for 3% of China’s total for the year, Lyu Daliang, spokesperson of the General Administration of Customs, told a news briefing in Beijing on Friday.
And there appears a strong chance that bilateral trade will continue on an upward path, given the strong bond between the countries’ two leaders and impacts from the war in Ukraine affecting Moscow.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has ordered his officials to forge stronger economic ties with Russia and build on the strengthening trade relationship between the two countries, The Wall Street Journal reported in December, citing Beijing policy advisers.
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LPG exports jump
Russia more than doubled its rail exports of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to China in 2022 as part of the Kremlin’s drive to diversify its energy export sales, an analysis of data from industry sources showed on Thursday.
Traders said the boost was mainly due to a rise in deliveries from the Irkutsk Oil Company (INK) after it launched its Ust-Kut gas processing plant in eastern Siberia.
Exports to China rose to 147,100 tonnes from 62,600 a year earlier, the data showed.
LPG, or propane and butane, is mainly used as fuel for cars, heating and to produce other petrochemicals.
Almost all Russia’s LPG exports to China go by rail.
Other large LPG exporters, such as Gazprom, Rosneft, Lukoil, Tatneft and Sibur, have redirected their supplies away from Ukraine and Europe last year.
The increase also occurred as the trade with China was subdued in 2021 amid the Covid pandemic.
Traders say LPG exports from Russia to China is currently constrained by infrastructure bottlenecks, such as limited railway capacity.
- Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard
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