China Russia Photo: VCG
China’s trade with Russia in the first seven months of 2022 rose 29 percent year-on-year to $97.71 billion, accelerating 1.8 percentage points from the first half of the year, as the two countries maintain normal cooperation despite US-led Western sanctions.
Experts expect trade between China and Russia to exceed last year’s levels as Russia accelerates its economic shift to Asia amid mounting sanctions from the West, and the two sides aim to expand their economic and trade cooperation in the spirit of mutual benefit.
According to data released by the General Administration of Customs of China on Sunday, bilateral trade between China and Russia reached $97.71 billion in the first seven months, up 29 percent year on year. The growth rate accelerated from 27.2 percent in the first half of the year.
Statistics show that the trade volume between China and Russia in July amounted to $16.79 billion. Among them, China’s exports to Russia amounted to $6.77 billion, while China’s imports from Russia amounted to $10.01 billion, both expanding from June.
China’s exports to Russia expanded 5.2 percent to $36.27 billion, expanding from 2.1 percent during the January-June period. China’s imports from Russia grew 48.8 percent from the previous year to $61.44 billion in the first seven months.
The growth of trade between China and Russia is the result of highly integrated economies between the two countries, Song Cui, head of the Research Institute of Contemporary China-Russia Regional Economics, told the Global Times on Sunday, adding that escalating sanctions from the West also pushed Russia to expand its exports to China.
“Foreign trade between China and Russia this year is expected to exceed the level of 2021 when bilateral trade reached $146.87 billion, which is a record high,” Song said.
China’s imports of mineral fuels, oil and asphalt products from Russia amounted to 247 billion yuan ($36.53 billion) in the first six months, while China’s exports of mechanical and electrical products to Russia reached 77 billion yuan, according to customs data.
In addition to energy cooperation, China-Russia trade has expanded in recent years to include food, agriculture, new energy vehicles and other areas, Song said.
“Pursuing local currency settlements in the trade between China and Russia provides more convenience for the two countries’ merchants to stabilize foreign trade and avoid the dominance of the US dollar,” Song said.
During a virtual meeting with Russian Economic Development Minister Maxim Reshetnikov, China’s Minister of Commerce Wang Wentao said that since the beginning of the year, trade between China and Russia has maintained a strong growth momentum.
Wang said the two sides should continue to promote trade in commodities while taking advantage of new growth areas such as digital economy, green development, cross-border e-commerce and trade in services, and push forward the steady growth of economic and trade cooperation between China and Russia. He said.