As compared to the previous year, imports of Russian goods to China increased 4.9% to $41.6 billion, and Chinese exports to Russia grew 8.2% to $53.68 billion.
Despite the weakening ruble, the positive trend of Russian-Chinese trade development continued last year, Zong Liang, deputy director of the financial studies institute of Bank of China, has said.
At the same time he expressed concern over the continuing ruble decline. The situation is not easy. Ruble stabilization will contribute to strengthening cooperation between Russia and the other countries of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), he said.
In December, Russian-Chine trade amounted to $8.57 billion, 5.4% higher than in December of the previous year. China exported $4.89 billion worth of goods to Russia and had $3.67 billion worth of imports from Russia.
The Chinese Economic Development Ministry said China was the first among Russia‚Äôs trade partners and Russia was the ninth among China‚Äôs partners.
Earlier, the director of the Chinese Economic Development Ministry‚Äôs department of Europe and Central Asia, Kin Zhi, told TASS that raw materials – oil, ore and timber – accounted for 80% of the trade turnover. Beijing saw prospects to improve the quality of bilateral trade in the aviation, space and other high-technological areas, he said.
In 2013, the trade turnover between China and Russia increased 1.1% to $89.2 billion.
Russia-China Energy Cooperation
Russian and Chinese companies have signed several big contracts in the recent years. In May 2014 Russia’s gas giant Gazprom and China‚Äôs CNPC struck a major deal on gas supplies to China. The contract stipulates that 38¬†billion cubic meters of¬†Russian gas will be¬†annually supplied to¬†China via the eastern route over a period of 30 years. The contract is worth over $400 billion. The deal between the two companies was signed in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
At the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Beijing in early November Russia‚Äôs Gazprom also signed a framework agreement on gas supplies to China via the western route. A¬†proposed pipeline, known as the Altai route, is intended to carry gas from deposits in Western Siberia to North-Western China. Gas supplies to China via that route may reach 30 billion cubic meters a year. In 2015 the countries will sign at least three key documents on that project.
Energy cooperation between Russia and China also includes the oil industry. Russia‚Äôs largest oil company Rosneft supplies oil to China under a long-term contract. The $270 billion deal with China‚Äôs CNPC was signed in 2013, and it envisages supply of about 360 million metric tons of oil to China over 25 years. This year the two energy giants agreed to deepen strategic partnership.
The Power of Siberia Gas Pipeline
A major gas pipeline is currently being built in Russia to provide for the gas supplies to China. The construction of the Power of Siberia gas pipeline was started on September 1. The pipeline‚Äôs cost is estimated at $21.3 billion. The pipeline is intended to pump 61 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually and will stretch over a distance of 3,968 km (2,465 miles). The pipeline is designed to pump natural gas from the giant Chayanda oil and gas condensate deposit in Yakutia in north-eastern Russia and the Kovykta gas condensate field in the Irkutsk Region in Eastern Siberia to the Far Eastern city of Vladivostok.