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China Ups Russian Imports, Keeps Exports Level – Kommersant

Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China Li Zhanshu (L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (R).

China has ramped up imports of Russian energy and raw materials this year without doing the same for tech exports, the Kommersant business daily reported late Wednesday, citing Chinese customs data.

China imported $72.9 billion worth of goods from Russia between January and August, a 50% increase on the same period last year.

Its exports to Russia grew by only 8.5% to $44.2 billion over the same period.

As a result, Russia’s trade surplus with China has quadrupled from $7.3 billion to $28.7 billion, according to Kommersant.

China’s import structure is “one of the least diversified among all of Russia’s trade partners,” the paper reported, citing Russia’s state-run Roscongress Foundation.

Oil, gas and coal account for 78% of Russia’s exports to China and “are steadily expanding,” it cited Roscongress’ report as saying. Energy, mineral and agricultural products make up the bulk of Chinese imports from Russia.

According to the cited customs data, Russia occupies a 2.75% share in China’s total trade turnover.

And while the share of Russian exports to China increased to 4% this year, the share of Russian imports declined to 1.9%.

Beijing has maintained friendly ties with Moscow in the face of unprecedented sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine as Russia found itself cut off from Western imports.

China has been Russia’s largest trading partner for more than a decade, and became its biggest export destination after Western governments imposed sanctions on Moscow following its annexation of Crimea in 2014.

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