China reaps power windfall as West shuns Russian provides By Reuters



© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: Energy traces and wind generators are pictured at a wind and photo voltaic power storage and transmission energy station of State Grid Company of China, in Zhangjiakou of Hebei province, China, March 18, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Lee/File Photograph/

By Muyu Xu and Emily Chow

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – China is shopping for extra and cheaper power provides from Russia this 12 months, reaping the advantages of a plunge in European purchases simply when Beijing wants it most because the Ukraine disaster pushes Moscow seeking various markets.

The rising cooperation, to be additional deepened with Chinese language President Xi Jinping’s assembly with Russia’s Vladimir Putin in Uzbekistan on Thursday, is a boon for each nations.

China has gained entry to cheaper power whereas Russia is ready to offset losses from the European Union and different allies scaling again on purchases of Russian exports attributable to sanctions over its invasion of Ukraine. Moscow calls it a particular army operation.

China electrical energy imports from Russia

Nearer Chinese language-Russian ties have additionally promoted the usage of their yuan and rouble currencies in commodities commerce, lessening reliance on the U.S. greenback.

China, the world’s largest power client and high purchaser of , liquefied and coal, has imported 17% extra Russian crude between April and July from the identical interval a 12 months in the past.

It has additionally purchased over 50% extra LNG and 6% extra coal from Russia throughout the identical interval whereas electrical energy imports from Russia, primarily by way of a cross-broader transmission line connecting northeast China and Russia’s Far East, soared by 39%.

China’s oil, fuel, coal and electrical energy purchases from Russia quantity to $43.68 billion to date this 12 months.

Russia crude exports to China

Cheaper Russian power provides are serving to to dampen inflation in China, the place the financial system narrowly prevented contracting within the second quarter amid COVID-19 lockdowns.

“The upcoming assembly between Xi and Putin will doubtless fortify China’s ties with Russia in power commerce for mutual profit, notably at a time when Russia (is) grappling with intensified western sanctions whereas China is in want of low-cost power to shore up its sagging financial system tarnished by COVID lockdowns,” mentioned Zhuwei Wang, supervisor, Asia Oil Analytics, S&P World (NYSE:) Commodity Insights.


Russia turned China’s high crude provider from Might to July, accounting for 19% of China’s imports, versus 15% in the identical interval of 2021, Chinese language customs knowledge confirmed.

Moscow’s share might develop to greater than 20% this 12 months, Dutch financial institution ING mentioned in August.

China saved about $3 billion in shopping for Russian oil versus different imports between April and July, based on Reuters calculation based mostly on customs knowledge. On common, China paid about $708 per tonne for Russian crude whereas the worth of imports from the remainder of nations was $816 per tonne.

For LNG, China’s imports from Russia rose 26% within the first seven months from the identical interval a 12 months earlier whereas exports jumped to 66,798 tonnes in July, the very best since 2019, on re-exports to Europe and Japan, the information confirmed.

China’s LNG imports from Russia 2019-2022’spercent20LNGpercent20importspercent20frompercent20Russia.JPG

“China is making the most of the disrupted commerce flows, together with by shopping for discounted Russian oil and LNG cargoes, whereas swapping out various volumes again into Europe at greater costs, delivering a worthwhile commerce,” mentioned Saul Kavonic, head of Built-in Power and Assets Analysis at Credit score Suisse.

China additionally has long-term incentives for Russian provide because it strives to satisfy new carbon emissions targets and boosts fuel consumption. That prompted a February deal for a brand new pipeline from Russia to begin within the subsequent two to 3 years.


China’s coal imports from Russia jumped to their highest in a minimum of 5 years in July, because it purchased discounted coal whereas Europe shunned Russian cargoes forward of a ban that got here into power on Aug. 11.

Russian thermal coal with a heating worth of 5,500 kilocalories (kcal) traded round $150 a tonne on a cost-and-freight foundation in late July, whereas coal of the identical high quality at Australia’s Newcastle port was assessed at greater than $210 a tonne on a free-on-board (FOB) foundation.

Russian coal beneficial properties market share in China’spercent20coalpercent20importspercent20frompercent20Russia.png

Although Russian provides meet solely about 1% of Chinese language wants, some merchants anticipate extra Russian coal to reach within the fourth quarter when utilities construct shares for the winter heating season.

Analysts mentioned that whereas the beneficial properties for China are clear, Russia stays extra reliant on the commerce than China.

“Nonetheless the warfare is resolved, it’s obvious that Russia can not depend on its main power export markets in Europe for the foreseeable future, and the redirection of its power and commodity exports in direction of the East will collect tempo,” Tilak Doshi, managing director of Doshi Consulting, mentioned.

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