According to a report by Bloomberg on Thursday, shipping containers filled with goods from China are accumulating in Russian rail depots, indicating a significant increase in trade between the two countries. Container xChange, a trading platform based in Hamburg, Germany, conducted an analysis and found that approximately 150,000 surplus containers are currently stacked up due to China’s overwhelming shipment of goods. This surplus has overwhelmed Russia’s capacity to handle the influx of shipping boxes. Christian Roeloffs, co-founder and CEO of Container xChange, noted the negative repercussions of this trade imbalance on container logistics businesses.
The surge in container flows comes as a surprise, considering the Western sanctions that cut off Russia’s traditional trade links and undermined supply chains. These sanctions prompted Moscow to seek new markets, ultimately expanding trade with China. Germany’s Kiel Institute for the World Economy recently released data indicating that the volume of goods unloaded at Russia’s three largest container ports is nearing levels seen during the outbreak of the Ukraine conflict in February 2022. These ports are located in St. Petersburg on the Baltic Sea, Novorossiysk on the Black Sea, and Vladivostok on the Pacific coast.
Amidst this trade boom, Fesco Transport Group, one of Russia’s largest logistics providers, signed contracts with Jilin Northeast Asia Railway Group and the Union of Chinese Entrepreneurs. These partnerships aim to monitor existing container-shipping routes between Russia and China and expand the pool of potential shippers in the China-Russia-China direction. The government of Russia predicts that the trade volume with China will exceed $200 billion this year, surpassing the previous record of $190 billion reached in 2022.
Chinese customs data supports the surge in trade between the two countries, revealing a 37% jump in trade volume in the first seven months of 2023. The total trade value amounted to $134.1 billion, with China’s exports to Russia rising by 73% to $62.54 billion and imports from Russia increasing by 15% to $71.6 billion.
The increase in trade between China and Russia demonstrates the strengthening economic ties between the two nations. Despite the challenges posed by Western sanctions, Russia has successfully diversified its trade relations and enhanced its cooperation with China. This trade boom is expected to have a positive impact on the Russian economy, further promoting bilateral cooperation and growth.
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