Beijing has reportedly spent $35 billion on Russian crude, oil products, gas and coal since March.
Chinese imports of Russian energy have risen 75% since the start of the conflict in Ukraine and the ensuing sanctions war between Moscow and the West, Bloomberg reported Monday, citing the latest Chinese customs figures.
According to the data, which covers the period from March to July, Beijing’s purchases of Russian crude, oil products, gas and coal rose to $35 billion from $20 billion a year earlier.
The surge comes as China takes advantage of Russia’s rebates on energy exports, introduced to lure new buyers after many Western states began shunning Russian commodities due to Ukraine-related sanctions.
China imported a record amount of Russian coal in July: 7.4 million tons, 14% more than in the same period last year. This made Russia China’s top fuel supplier last month, relegating Indonesia to second place.
Russia’s crude oil imports to China in July fell slightly from June, but were still 8% higher than the same month last year at 7.15 million tonnes.
Shipments of liquefied natural gas (LNG) showed a year-on-year increase of 20%. This figure does not include LNG imports via pipelines, which are the main transport route for the fuel from Russia to China, meaning the actual import volume may be much higher.
Overall, China spent $7.2 billion on Russian fuel imports in July, up from $4.7 billion in the same month last year.
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