China's Russian LNG import value tripled in 2022
In comparison to 2021, China's imports of Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG) have nearly tripled this year.
Since the beginning of 2022, China has inked major agreements with Russia, Saudi Arabia, and other nations to significantly increase its imports and processing of petroleum products such as crude oil, liquefied natural gas (LNG), as well as coal.
China has increased its LNG imports in 2022 from Qatar and Russia, nearly tripling from 2021 levels, according to newly released customs data.
Simultaneously, China's LNG exports have augmented, partly to offset the economic effects of Covid-driven lockdowns.
These trends are consistent with the close partnership that has developed between Moscow and Beijing in recent years, as well as China's refusal to comply with the Western demands of isolating Russia politically and economically.
Instead, Beijing has declared its neutrality, urging a peaceful resolution between Kiev and Moscow while acknowledging NATO's role in fueling the war in Ukraine.
Shortly before the war in Ukraine, Beijing and Moscow announced a "no limits" partnership, despite the US failed attempts to push China to join US-led sanctions against Russia right after the start of the war.
In 2022, China faced its own economic difficulties as it struggles to keep COVID-19 outbreaks under control as part of its "Dynamic Zero Covid" policy, which has spared it the mass death seen in most other countries. Because the trade disruptions have harmed businesses, Beijing has been forced to scale back plans to divest from cheap fossil fuels in order to keep its economy afloat. European countries and the United States have made similar adjustments.
Between January 1 and July 1, China's JOVO Group, Sinopec Group, Dongguan Jovo, and other LNG sellers sold roughly 4 million tons of LNG to European buyers, accounting for roughly 7% of Europe's LNG imports at the time, as per Nikkei Asia.
Their combined profits, according to the Tokyo-based outlet, could surpass $100 million.
Russia's Gazprom has recently announced a deal with China's National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) to settle gas pipeline sales in rubles and renminbi, fueling speculation about a "petro-Yuan" to rival the "petrodollar" that has dominated international markets since the mid-20th century.