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China spent more than $6 billion on Russian energy imports in April

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Purchases of coking coal for the steel industry rose for the third month to 1.71 million tons, more than double the level of last year

China spent more than $6 billion on Russian energy imports in April

China continued to buy more energy from Russia, with purchases of oil, gas and coal jumping 75% in April to more than $6 billion, even as domestic demand slowed due to the resurgent virus and the US and Europe refused to buy.

According to Chinese customs data released on Friday, imports of Russian liquefied natural gas are up 80% year-over-year to 463,000 tons. This is despite the fact that China's total imports of super-cooled fuels have fallen by more than a third as lockdowns and other restrictions on industrial activity have suffocated demand.

Meanwhile, crude oil imports rose 4% year-on-year to 6.55 million tonnes, with Russia once again trailing only Saudi Arabia as China's top source of oil.

The rise in prices that accompanied Russia's military actions in Ukraine increased the cost of China's purchases of mineral fuels, including coal, to $6.42 billion. This means that 72% of all China's imports in April from its strategic partner were related to energy.

The gas volume figures do not include gas imports via the pipeline, which have not been reported since the beginning of the year, but the Power of Siberia line is the main fuel supply route to China.

Besides, Beijing is in talks with Moscow to replenish its strategic crude oil reserves with cheaper Russian oil, a sign that energy ties between the two countries are likely to only strengthen as Russia's western markets wither due to the war in Ukraine.

Other Highlights of China-Russia Commodity Trade in April:

Coal imports fell 14% year-over-year to 3.82m tonnes as Covid restrictions, milder weather and increased domestic production dampened demand for the thermal variety.

But coking coal for the steel industry rose to 1.71 million tonnes for the third month, more than double last year's level, after mills boosted purchases on the prospect of higher government spending.

Imports of refined copper fell by 39% to 18,871 tons.

Imports of refined nickel almost tripled to 1,738 tons

Aluminum imports almost doubled to 31,218 tons

Palladium imports were zero

Wheat imports fell by 81% to 2990 tons.

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