shipping containers
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The Russian Export Center (REC) expects trade turnover between Russia and China to reach a record $130 billion in 2021, the head of the state institution Veronika Nikishina said during an online conference on Monday.

"This year, [Russia-China] trade shows rapid growth: in the first eight months of 2021, trade turnover increased by 30% to $86 billion... In the summer, trade between our two countries reached a record level of $12 billion per month. And there is no doubt that it will also be a record high by the end of the year," Nikishina said.

She noted that Russian exports to China jumped by 34% to $42.3 billion in the reporting period, while imports from China grew by 27%, to $43.5 billion.

According to REC estimates, the turnover will exceed $130 billion by the year's end, topping the record $111 billion reached in pre-pandemic 2019. Nikishina noted that China has been Russia's main foreign trade partner since 2010, dominating Russian imports since 2008 and exports since 2017.

China's share in Russia's trade amounted to 17.7% in the first eight months of this year, with a 14.2% share in exports and 23.3% in imports. According to the official, even the Covid-19 pandemic was unable to hinder the countries' efforts to strengthen mutual trade.

"In 2020, Russian-Chinese trade turned out to be very resistant to the crisis. Amid the pandemic and the fall in world prices, its decline was only 6.7%, while Russia's trade with other countries decreased by 16.6%," Nikishina said.

Comment: That's may partly be due to the fact that China has enforced 'targeted lockdowns' and allowed its economy to get back to normal much sooner than much of the West.

China has been Russia's main importer of non-primary non-energy goods since 2016. According to the official, deliveries of these goods have been growing for seven consecutive years, and the trend continues through 2021.

"For eight months of 2021, their deliveries amounted to $11.4 billion, exceeding the level of 2020 by 19%," Nikishina specified. Products that showed the largest growth are copper, aluminum, direct reduced iron, copper wire, fertilizers, lumber, oilseeds, crustaceans, paper and cardboard.