Chinese imports of Russian energy have jumped 75% since the start of the conflict in Ukraine and the ensuing sanctions war between Moscow and the West, Bloomberg reported on Monday, citing China’s latest customs figures.
According to the data, covering the period from March to July, Beijing’s purchases of Russian crude, oil products, gas and coal rose to $35 billion from about $20 billion a year prior.
The increase comes as China takes advantage of Russia’s discounts on energy exports, introduced to draw in new buyers after many Western states started to shun Russian commodities due to Ukraine-related sanctions.
China imported a record amount of Russian coal in July – 7.4 million tons – 14% more than the same time last year. This made Russia China’s top supplier of the fuel last month, relegating Indonesia to second place.