China’s thirst for energy drives trade with Russia to new heights

Russia has reached its goal of increasing bilateral trade with China  to $80bn a year ahead of schedule, according to a report released by China’s General Administration of Customs last week. Chinese exports to Russia grew by 14.8% to $42.9bn, with the value of goods going in the other direction up 27.7% to $41.2bn, the report records. Trade turnover between the two countries reached $8.1bn in December alone, more than the entire annual average of around $5bn that marked most of the 1990s.
With the $400bn Power of Siberia gas deal due to kick in next year, Moscow’s and Beijing’s plans to increase that figure to $200bn by 2020 – and in the process to put China on par with the EU as Russia’s main trading partner – are not now beyond the realms of possibility.
Hitting that target will depend on China’s seemingly inexhaustible appetite for new energy resources continuing unabated. As well as the two Power of Siberia gas pipelines – one under construction and another still at the planning state – an extension of the East Siberia-Pacific Ocean (ESPO) oil pipeline started operating on January 1, doubling  Rosneft’s annual oil export volumes to China  from 15 to 30 million tons annually, replacing seaborne Russian shipments of the ESPO blend from the Kozmino port in the Russian Far East and crude oil shipments from the Middle East.
Last  month,  Gazprom Chairman  Alexey Miller and his CNPC counterpart Wang Yilin additionally signed  a  Heads of Agreement  that  will eventually provide for more natural gas to be supplied to China from Russia’s Far East.
 The two  companies also pledged to continue their collaboration in related spheres of activity including  underground gas storage, gas-fired power generation, and the use of gas as a vehicle fuel.

Source: intellinews