China-Russia trade hits $218b in Jan-Nov, exceeding $200b target early: customs
Published: Dec 07, 2023 03:56 PM
China-Russia Photo: VCG

China-Russia Photo: VCG

Trade between China and Russia grew steadily in the first 11 months of this year, hitting $218 billion, up 26.7 percent year-on-year, and exceeding $200 billion for the first time, Chinese customs data showed on Thursday. 

China's exports to Russia soared by 50.2 percent, while imports from Russia went up by 26.7 percent.

The total value marks a milestone for bilateral economic ties, as it means the two nations have achieved their $200 billion trade goal ahead of schedule. In 2019, they set up a goal of ramping up bilateral trade to reach $200 billion by 2024. 

In 2022, bilateral trade hit a record of $190.27 billion, an increase of 116 percent over the previous year. 

The growth rate in China's trade with Russia was significantly faster than China's trade with many other major partners, including the EU and the US.

Overall, China's foreign trade reached $5.41 trillion in the first 11 months, down 5.6 percent year-on-year. Exports were $3.08 trillion, down 5.2 percent, while imports were $2.33 trillion, down 6 percent.

"Aided by high-level political mutual trust, the two countries have witnessed explosive growth in bilateral trade, which was also helped by a series of trade facilitation measures," Zhang Hong, an associate research fellow at the Institute of Russian, Eastern European and Central Asian Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Thursday.

Zhang noted that energy trade serves as the ballast stone of bilateral trade, and the increasing use of yuan for trade settlements also helped.

The China-Russia east-route natural gas pipeline project has transported more than 50 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas in the past four years of operation, PipeChina announced over the weekend. 

From January 1 to December 2 this year, the pipeline carried more than 20 bcm of natural gas, a record, according to PipeChina. Starting from the original capacity of 5 bcm, the pipeline's yearly transportation capacity has kept increasing and is expected to climb further during 2024.

Although the two countries have explored new areas to enhance trade cooperation in e-commerce and electromechanical products, China-Russia energy cooperation is set to remain the centerpiece of bilateral economic and trade ties in the coming years, Chinese experts said, noting that cooperation in natural gas will continue to be a highlight. 

Global Times