Chinese exports to Russia fall by almost 40% since February

29 June, 08:09 PM
Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping (Photo:kremlin.ru)

Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping (Photo:kremlin.ru)

The volume of Chinese exports to Russia from late February to late May dropped by 38% year-over-year, Russian newspaper Kommersant reported on June 28, citing a study by the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) on the effectiveness of sanctions against Russia after the invasion of Ukraine.

At the same time, imports from Russia to China increased by one-and-a-half times over the same period, to a record $10.3 billion.

PIIE analyzed data on 54 countries, which accounted for about 90% of Russia's total imports in 2021.

Between February 24 and April 30, exports to Russia fell sharply. According to PIIE, since the invasion, sanctioning countries' exports to Russia have fallen by 60% from the average level in the second half of 2021.

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"Significantly, however, exports by non-sanctioning countries have also fallen, by 40%, exacerbating the decline in Russia's ability to buy from abroad," PIIE said.

"Since the invasion of Ukraine, only three countries in the sample (Israel, Uzbekistan, and Brazil) had even a single month selling more to Russia than the average in the second half of 2021 – and their increases were small."

PIIE analyzed data on China by late May. It is noted that China supplied a quarter of Russia's imports in 2021 – more than any other country – with exports of $73 billion.

After the beginning of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, China denounced sanctions and proclaimed that it would maintain normal economic relations with Russia. However, exports of Chinese products to Russia fell sharply by late May.

According to the study, this may indicate that Beijing is wary of helping Moscow not to lose access to U.S. and European technologies and the markets where it sells its products.

China is not, however, shutting off trade with Russia. Its imports have surged to record highs. Not surprisingly, nearly 80% of those imports are oil and gas, PIIE said.

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