China’s trade with Russia went up a notch last month despite a slump in global demand.
Chinese shipments to and from Russia accelerated in August compared with a month earlier – and that was in stark contrast with slower flows elsewhere.
Chinese shipments to Russia, which has been hit by Western sanctions over its invasion of Ukraine, rose 26.5% from a year earlier in dollar terms, up from a 22.2% gain in July, calculations based on Chinese customs data on Wednesday showed.
Imports from Russia jumped 59% versus a 49% increase in July. In the first eight months of this year, bilateral trade between China and Russia jumped 31% to $117.2 billion.
Russia is a major source of oil, gas, coal and agricultural products for China.
Russia was China’s top oil supplier for a third month in July, data from Chinese customs showed on August 20. The agency has not published the ranking for August yet.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok on Wednesday that Chinese demand for Russian energy was rising.
Meanwhile, Russia’s Gazprom said on Tuesday it had signed an agreement to start switching payments for gas supplies to China to yuan and roubles instead of dollars.
Chinese legislator Li Zhanshu, ranked No3 in the Communist Party, was at the Vladivostok forum, the most senior Chinese official to visit Russia since the Ukraine war began and underlining the close ties between the countries.
- Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara