The value of Chinese goods exports flowing to Russia declined sharply last spring following Russia’s attack on Ukraine, but it has recovered to pre-invasion levels in autumn. The growth in exports has slowed in recent months following summer’s brisk recovery. Preliminary figures for October show exports were still slightly higher than in September. China is now clearly Russia’s largest source of imports, accounting already for more than a third of Russia’s goods imports last summer.
Within China’s exports to Russia in March-September, fastest growth was recorded for chemical products, possibly a reflection of high commodity prices. Exports of motor vehicles have grown rapidly, particularly exports of vans and car parts. In contrast, exports of machinery & equipment grew more slowly than total exports and have barely managed to make up for last spring’s decline. It thus appears that China has not compensated (so far at least) at a substantial scale for Russia’s loss of technology imports from other countries.
China and other East Asian countries have been key suppliers of Russian technology imports. Nearly half of Russia’s imports of electrical equipment came from China in 2019. The ten ASEAN member countries and Taiwan have also been major suppliers of electrical and electronic devices to Russia. Japan and South Korea have been particularly important suppliers of motor vehicles and ships for Russia. Russia’s technology imports from East Asia are discussed in our latest BOFIT Policy Brief.
China’s goods exports to Russia rose slightly further in October
Sources: Macrobond, BOFIT.