(Yicai Global) May 10 -- China expects trade with Russia to maintain double-digit growth this year with the total value likely to surpass USD100 billion.
The countries will take effective measures to optimize trade structure, ease access, forge new growth points and promote a rapid expansion in trade flows, Gao Feng, a spokesperson at China's commerce ministry, said at a press conference today.
Trade between the two nations hit USD31.2 billion in the past four months, a yearly increase of 30 percent, China Customs data shows. Gao attributed that pace to expansion in the Russian economy and recovery in demand. China's exports to its neighbor gained 21 percent in the January to April period.
Gao also highlighted increases in the amount and price of China's staple goods imported from Russia as another growth driver. Russian crude oil piped to China reached 12.4 million tons, an increase of 47 percent. Russia has retained its position as China's largest oil supplier for months.
New areas for trade growth, such as agriculture, continue to emerge. Russia's farm product shipments to China surged over 35 percent in the first four months of the year, Gao said.
Russian suppliers leaped into a gap left by a 27 percent drop in China's imports of US soybeans in March. Imports from Russia, a new supplier of the product, doubled to 150,700 tons, according to data from the customs administration. North America was still the biggest contributor at 3.1 million tons.
The decline in the amount of soybeans shipped to China from the US follows a decision by Beijing to impose an additional 25 percent tariff on specific US products, including soybeans, beef and cars, in retaliation for moves by Washington to slap extra trade duties on Chinese imports.
Another key driving force in growing China-Russia trade is investments and major projects. China's investment in Russia has surged in recent years and the two countries have increasingly worked together on major projects in fields such as energy, nuclear power, aerospace and infrastructure.
Editor: William Clegg