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China’s energy imports from Russia, including coal, oil, and natural gas, have reached $60 billion since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Bloomberg has reported, up from $35 billion in the same period of 2021.
China has become Russia’s biggest energy client alongside India, with both countries refusing to join the Western sanction push against Moscow and instead opting to continue doing business and forging closer political ties with Russia.
Crude oil imports from Russia into China rose even in October when overall oil imports were down by almost 5 percent. That’s because Chinese refiners, like those in India, are preparing for the European Union embargo on Russian crude, which enters into effect on December 5.
Once the embargo kicks in, the EU will no longer provide shopping, insurance, and financing services to third parties that want to buy Russian crude unless they buy it at or below a price that has yet to be set by the G7 under its plans for a price cap on Russian oil. The cap aims to curb Russia’s oil revenues while keeping Russian oil flowing into international markets.
In addition to more oil, China also imported more Russian liquefied natural gas in October, the Bloomberg report noted. At 756,000 tons, the volume was markedly higher than LNG imports same time last year, and the increase came despite a 34-percent decline in overall LNG imports.
Coal imports in October were 26 percent higher than last year, with coking coal imports specifically up threefold from a year ago. Coking coal is used in steelmaking.
The total value of these energy imports hit $7.7 billion in October, which was $100 million higher than the value of September energy imports from Russia and $2.3 billion higher than the value of Chinese energy imports from Russia for October 2021.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.
China’s energy imports from Russia between February and November this year amounted to $60 bn or 71% higher than the same period in 2021 whilst Russia’s trade with China has grown from $13 bn in 2011 to $150 in the first eight months of the year.
What this proves is that Western sanctions against Russia have failed miserably as they did against Iran and Venezuela and that both China and India as the world’s largest and third largest economies based on purchasing power parity (PPP) and also Turkey take great pleasure particularly in defying the United States by continuing to buy increasing volumes of Russian crude, coal, gas and LNG.
Furthermore, the EU’s embargo on Russian oil exports from December 5onwards and the capping of both the prices of both Russian crude and gas exports are doomed to fail with prices of oil and gas surging and inflicting more pain and damage on the EU and the US economies.
Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
International Oil Economist
Global Energy Expert