China imports of Russian oil highest since start of Ukraine war: Data

AFP , Tuesday 20 Jun 2023

Chinese imports of Russian oil last month hit their highest level since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine in February 2022, Beijing's customs data showed Tuesday.

China - Russia - oil imports
An inspection officer checks a tanker carrying imported crude oil at Qingdao port in China s eastern Shandong province, May 9, 2022. AFP


China imported 9.71 million tonnes of oil from Russia in May, detailed customs data showed, up from 5.4 million tonnes in February 2022 and 6.3 million the following month.

The figures show that imports of Russian crude by China have almost doubled since the beginning of the war.

They are in line with trade figures released this month that showed China's trade with Russia soaring to levels not seen since February 2022.

Trade between the two countries last month was worth $20.5 billion, data from Beijing showed, with Chinese imports from Russia worth $11.3 billion.

China is Russia's largest trading partner, with trade between them reaching a record $190 billion last year, according to Chinese customs data.

During a summit in March, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian leader Vladimir Putin pledged to boost trade to $200 billion in 2023 as they hailed their "no limits" partnership.

And Russian energy deliveries to China are set to grow by 40 percent this year, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said last month.

Beijing says it is a neutral party in the Ukraine war, but has been criticised by Western countries for refusing to condemn Moscow and for its close strategic partnership with Russia.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online

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