Russia-China Bilateral Trade Growing By US$500 Million A Month

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US-China Trade War Has Shifted Some US China Purchasing To Russia

Bilateral trade between Russia and China has been growing at 4.5% this year, with sharp increases over the past three months. That is roughly equivalent of China adding another US$500 million every month to its Russia shopping basket.

The figures, based on data released by the Chinese Customs Administration, show that trade reached US$70.59 billion in the first eight months of the year, with growth almost entirely comprised of increased exports to China. The growth volume of Chinese exports to Russia was essentially static at US$31.14 billion. But China’s imports of Russian goods and services increased 8.3% to US$39.45 billion.

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In July, trade turnover between the two countries reached US$9.41 billion. The figures suggest that Russia and China, if this growth trajectory remains, will reach a total trade turnover of about US$110 billion for the year, a 10% overall growth rate on 2018.

Russia is often considered purely an energy play by China, but this is changing. China is shifting its Russian import makeup to include more foodstuffs, with Russia being the worlds largest grain producer. Manufacturing and IT imports are also up as Russian companies begin to make inroads into the Chinese market – for years they have been conservative towards investing in Asia, and this attitude is now going through a shift. Interconnectivity is also improving, with rail lines between the Russian Far East and North-East China being upgraded and expanded, while air and cargo services are also improving.

Both Russia and China has expressed a goal of reaching US$200 billion in annual bilateral trade.

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