Russia-China trade reaches balance

Russian exports to China reached about $110 bln last year, while imports amounted to about $100 bln. Beijing remained Moscow’s main trading partner, while Russia became the sixth largest market for China.

Vladimir Astapkovich / RIA Novosti

Over the past two years, China has become Russia’s obvious and often non-alternative economic partner amid the loss of Western markets. In 2023, trade between Russia and China nearly doubled to more than $200 bln.

As Russian President Vladimir Putin said in March, “Russian-Chinese cooperation has truly limitless possibilities and potential.”

The surge in Russian exports to China was promoted by Russia’s turn to the East amid tightening Western sanctions.

With the near parity of exports and imports, the two countries have been able to shift almost entirely to payments in yuan and rubles, as both need each other’s currencies for further transactions. This achievement has dramatically reduced the impact of sanctions on trade, experts say.

“Balanced trade is good. We can barter if we have to,” economist Sergei Khestanov, Associate Professor at RANEPA, said.

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