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16 January 2019

Review of Economic Relations Between Russia and China in 2018

The People’s Republic of China is the largest trading and economic partner of the Russian Federation. The share of China in the foreign trade turnover of Russia in 2018 came up to 16%. For China, Russia is one of the key partners and included in the TOP-10, which share in total trade of China in the reporting period amounted to 2.3%.

Breakdown of Annual Rates of Bilateral Trade between Russia and China


December 2018

January-December 2018

Aggregates of Russia and China trade

$9.8 billion

$107 billion ↑ 27.1%

Import from Russia to China

$5.2 billion 

$59 billion ↑ 42.7%

Export from China to Russia

$4.6 billion

$47.9 billion ↑ 12%


China Foreign Economi Activity Review

Over the January-December of 2018 foreign trade turnover in China totaled up to $4.6 trillion (+12.6% as compared to 2017), 52% of which was export and 48% – import.

As before, the basis of China export is rare earth metal (95% of the world overall volume is produced in China), steel and refined oil products, Hi-Tech equipment, hybrid-type devices, clothing and accessories. In 2018, Chinese export reached $2.4 trillion (+9.9% with 2017 year). For the most part, Russia purchased products of China electromechanical sector. 

The basis of Chinese import is represented by natural, fuel and power resourses and information technologies. In 2018, Chinese import amounted to $2.1 trillion which is 15.8% more than in 2017. China imported crude oil, coal and lumber from Russia. 

Transport Efficiency Performance Indicators

According to China National Bureau of Statistics data for 2018, Chinese freight companies transported 50.6 billion tons of freights which is 7.4% more than in 2017. Breakdown by mens of transportation is given below.


Loading volumes

Freight turnover

Overall rates

50.6 billion tons ↑ 7.4%

19.96 trillion ton-kilometers ↑ 4.3%

Motor Vehicle

39.6 billion tons↑ 7.6%

7.12 trillion ton-kilometers ↑ 6.7%

Inland water-borne transport

7 billion tons ↑ 4.5%

9.93 trillion ton-kilometers ↑ 1.9%

Railway transport

4.02 billion tons ↑ 9.1%

2.88 trillion ton-kilometers ↑ 6.9%

Transportation by air

7.4 billion tons ↑ 4.5%

26.24 billion ton-kilometers ↑ 7.8%

According to the report of the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China, China’s foreign trade will continue its permanent growth in 2019, thanks to stability of purchasing power of the Chinese, expansion of market openness and poltical support.