Trade turnover between Russia and China was up by a quarter (27%) in January in annual terms to $8.25bn, the General Administration of Customs of China said on February 11.
January’s increase is good but is behind the pace at which trade needs to grow to reach the proposed $200bn by 2020. This year Russo-China trade needs to reach $120bn but is currently on course to be just $105bn by the end of 2018.
In the first month of this year, the volume of exports from China to Russia increased by 16% and amounted to $3.88bn. The volume of imports of Russian goods to China in the same period increased by 38.5% to $4.38bn, Tass reported.
Trade turnover between Russia and China in 2016 grew by 2.2% in annual terms and reached $69.52bn. In 2017, the figure increased by 20.8% in annual terms to $84.07bn, hitting the target set by the Kremlin.
The pace of growth could accelerate in the coming years once the new Power of Siberia gas pipeline comes online. Russia signed off on a $400bn gas deal with Beijing several years ago, but is unable to deliver this gas until the new pipeline is finished. Gazprom said last year that the first phase is complete and announced a major investment project worth RUB1 trillion (€14bn) to complete the pipeline, which could happen this year.
Boosting trade turnover with China to $200bn by 2020 should help to offset the decline in trade with the EU, which has fallen by about $100bn since the start of the decay in relations with the annexation of Crimea in 2014 and was $228bn at the end of 2016.