China-Russia trade hits $218 billion in Jan-Nov, completing goal planned to reach in 2024

BEIJING (Reuters) – China-Russia trade hit $218.2 billion during January-November, Chinese customs data showed on Thursday, achieving the goal that had been set by the two countries in 2019 a year ahead of schedule.

The two-way trade value in the first 11 months also surpassed the total for all of 2022, according to the data by China’s General Administration of Customs, securing 2023 a year to witness new record high of bilateral trade.

In 2019, China and Russia agreed to increase trade to $200 billion by 2024 from $107 billion in 2018.

The world’s second-largest economy has emerged as a major economic lifeline for Russia which is under Western sanctions amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

For November alone, bilateral trade value surged to $21.5 billion, the highest since February 2022 when the Ukraine war began.

Chinese shipments to Russia rose 34% to $10.3 billion in November from a year earlier, doubling the growth rate of 17% in October, Reuters calculations based on customs data showed.

As Russia became a major buyer of Chinese cars, China hopes Russia will give policy support for Chinese automobile enterprises to produce, sell and operate in Russia, China’s ambassador to Russia said last month.

Imports from Russia rose 6% to $11.2 billion last month after growing 9% in October.

(Reporting by Ellen Zhang and Ryan Woo; Editing by Toby Chopra)