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China Says Trade with Russia Rose to New Peak in 2022

Trade between Russia and China jumped in 2022, with Russia more than doubling its rail exports of liquefied petroleum gas to China last year


China-Russia trade jumped to a new peak in 2022.
Men move bags of goods for export in front of a trading centre that houses shops and offices with Russian goods and services, in Beijing. Reuters image.

 

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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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years and has a family in Bangkok.

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