In 2019, ‘mineral fuels, oils and products of their distillation’ constituted 73 % (EPRS, based on UN Comtrade) of all Russian exports to China. In the same year, more than 55 % of Chinese exports to Russia consisted of machinery, equipment and vehicles. The recent hike in Russian exports to China seems primarily due to an increase in the value of oil exports. (The average annual price of a barrel of WTI crude oil over the past 11 years first declined from a peak of US$94.88 in 2011 to a low of US$43.29 in 2016 and then rose again to an average price of US$68.17 in 2021). In 2021, 20 % of China’s imports of coal, 15 % of its imports of oil and 8 % of its gas imports came from Russia (in 2020, coal still had a share of 59 % in China’s energy mix).
Mineral fuel trade between Russia and China
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