Russia-China Bilateral Trade Hit US$110 Billion in 2019 – What Is China Buying?

Posted by

Bilateral trade between Russia and China increased 3.4% in 2019, amounting to US$110.79 billion, according to the Chinese Administration of Customs. Trade was well balanced, with Chinese exports to Russia increasing to 3.6 per cent and US$49.7 billion, while imports from Russia increased 3.2 percent to total US$61.05 billion.

In December alone, China imported US$5.53 billion worth of Russian goods and exported US$4.88 worth of its own goods to Russia, the data shows, and makes Russia China’s tenth largest market for foreign products. The Russian export to China trend has doubled in the past two years.

“This level of trade volumes are now starting to attract the Russian services industry to China” says Chris Devonshire-Ellis of Dezan Shira & Associates. “Although the bulk of Russian exports to China are industrial, an increasing number of smaller traders and service providers are also selling to China as the trade volume increases. Russia is seen as a friendly trade partner by China and the two countries share a long history and border. With the Chinese consumer index at its highest level of optimism for ten years now is a good time for Russian businesses to be examining the China market.”

Dezan Shira & Associates maintain a Russian desk and have 12 offices throughout mainland China and one in Hong Kong. Please contact Maria Kotova at for assistance

Items Imported By China From Russia

Value Year
Mineral fuels, oils, distillation products $42.11B 2018
Wood and articles of wood, wood charcoal $4.69B 2018
Fish, crustaceans, molluscs, aquatics invertebrates $2.11B 2018
Copper $1.66B 2018
Ores slag and ash $1.54B 2018
Pulp of wood, fibrous cellulosic material, waste $1.14B 2018
Nickel $1.12B 2018
Fertilizers $511.38M 2018
Animal, vegetable fats and oils, cleavage products $387.58M 2018
Pearls, precious stones, metals, coins $386.30M 2018
Oil seed, oleagic fruits, grain, seed, fruits $376.10M 2018
Plastics $284.49M 2018
Rubbers $249.69M 2018
Machinery, nuclear reactors, boilers $233.38M 2018
Paper and paperboard, articles of pulp, paper and board $221.68M 2018
Inorganic chemicals, precious metal compound, isotope $220.20M 2018
Commodities not specified according to kind $201.48M 2018
Organic chemicals $177.63M 2018
Optical, photo, technical, medical apparatus $173.51M 2018
Aluminum $167.78M 2018
Aircraft, spacecraft $111.25M 2018
Salt, sulphur, earth, stone, plaster, lime and cement $110.96M 2018
Residues, wastes of food industry, animal fodder $97.91M 2018
Miscellaneous chemical products $88.33M 2018
Electrical, electronic equipment $75.03M 2018
Base metals not specified elsewhere, cermets. $71.51M 2018
Cocoa and cocoa preparations $61.44M 2018
Beverages, spirits and vinegar $33.21M 2018
Cereals $29.30M 2018
Edible fruits, nuts, peel of citrus fruit, melons $26.10M 2018
Milling products, malt, starches, inlin, wheat gluten $23.41M 2018
Iron and steel $22.42M 2018
Raw hides and skins (other than furskins) and leather $19.61M 2018
Products of animal origin $19.24M 2018
Zinc $11.93M 2018
Stone, plaster, cement, asbestos, mica or similar materials $10.59M 2018
Furniture, lighting signs, prefabricated buildings $10.24M 2018
Wool, animal hair, horsehair yarn and fabric $9.32M 2018
Articles of iron or steel $7.39M 2018
Live animals $7.14M 2018
Ships, boats, and other floating structures $6.86M 2018
Works of art, collectors’ pieces and antiques $6.49M 2018
Printed books, newspapers, pictures $6.41M 2018
Tobacco and manufactures tobacco substitutes $5.86M 2018
Cereal, flour, starch, milk preparations and products $4.28M 2018
Essential oils, perfumes, cosmetics, toileteries $4.08M 2018
Miscellaneous edible preparations $3.45M 2018
Meat, fish and seafood preparations $3.33M 2018
Vegetable plaiting materials, vegetable products $3.18M 2018
Vehicles other than railway, tramway $2.53M 2018
Soaps, lubricants, waxes, candles, modelling pastes $2.31M 2018
Sugars and sugar confectionery $2.28M 2018
Miscellaneous articles of base metal $2.00M 2018
Ceramic products $1.86M 2018
Vegetable textile fibers not specified elsewhere, paper yarn, woven fabric $1.48M 2018
Glass and glassware $1.47M 2018
Pharmaceutical products $1.33M 2018
Furskins and artificial fur, manufactures $1.07M 2018
Dairy products, eggs, honey, edible products $962.27K 2018
Other made textile articles, sets, worn clothing $946.21K 2018
Cotton $887.37K 2018
Tanning, dyeing extracts, tannins, derivatives, pigments $807.86K 2018
Edible vegetables and certain roots and tubers $707.42K 2018
Vegetable, fruit, nut food preparations $694.30K 2018
Articles of apparel, not knit or crocheted $497.18K 2018
Manmade staple fibers $483.60K 2018
Tools, implements, cutlery of base metal $470.80K 2018
Impregnated, coated or laminated textile fabric $469.83K 2018
Railway, tramway locomotives, rolling stock, equipment $374.23K 2018
Toys, games, sports requisites $268.14K 2018
Manmade filaments $240.75K 2018
Clocks and watches $184.70K 2018
Albuminoids, modified starches, glues, enzymes $156.11K 2018
Articles of apparel, knit or crocheted $147.19K 2018
Lead $91.03K 2018
Meat and edible meat offal $83.84K 2018
Coffee, tea, mate and spices $75.68K 2018
Miscellanneous manufactured articles $73.65K 2018
Footwear, gaiters and the like, $43.72K 2018
Musical instruments, parts and accessories $38.28K 2018
Photographic or cinematographic goods $30.13K 2018
Articles of leather, animal gut, harness, travel good $21.38K 2018
Wadding, felt, nonwovens, yarns, twine, cordage $12.72K 2018
Tin $7.13K 2018
Bird skin, feathers, artificial flowers, human hair $3.00K 2018
Special woven or tufted fabric, lace, tapestry $1.85K 2018
Headgear and $1.52K 2018
Carpets and other textile floor coverings $1.29K 2018
Silk $317 2018
Lac, gums, resins $176 2018
Knitted or crocheted fabric $103 2018
Arms and ammunition, parts and accessories $198.41K 2017
Umbrellas, walking-sticks, seat-sticks, whips $1.48K 2017
Cork and articles of cork $7.66K 2016
Live trees, plants, bulbs, roots, cut flowers $188.88K 2013
Manufacturers of plaiting material, basketwork $300 2010
Explosives, pyrotechnics, matches, pyrophorics $408.98K 2007

(courtesy of Trading Economics. 2018 figures)


Related Reading


About Us

During these uncertain times and with sanctions in place, our firm helps Russian companies relocate to Asia. We also provide financial and sanctions compliance services to foreign companies operating in Russia. Additionally, we offer market research and advisory services to foreign exporters interested in doing business in Russia as the economy looks to replace Western-sourced products. For assistance please email or visit