Trade between China and Russia has been worth $218.2 billion so far this year as the two countries, both shunned by the West to varying degrees, lean on each other even more.
The two-way trade value in the first 11 months also surpassed the total for all of 2022, according to data by China’s General Administration of Customs, making 2023 a new record high for their bilateral trade.
The two have achieved a goal set in 2019 a year ahead of schedule, when they agreed to increase trade to $200 billion by 2024 from $107 billion in 2018.
The world’s second-largest economy, itself under pressure from a raft of trade curbs, has emerged as a major economic lifeline for Russia which is the target of Western sanctions amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.
For November alone, bilateral trade value surged to $21.5 billion, the highest since February 2022 when the Ukraine war began.
Chinese shipments to Russia rose 34% to $10.3 billion in November from a year earlier, doubling the growth rate of 17% in October, Reuters calculations based on customs data showed.
As Russia became a major buyer of Chinese cars, China hopes Russia will give policy support for Chinese automobile enterprises to produce, sell and operate in Russia, China’s ambassador to Russia said last month.
Imports from Russia rose 6% to $11.2 billion last month after growing 9% in October.
- Reuters with additional editing by Sean O’Meara