The Russian economy is facing record trade pressure as imports to the country from most of its trading partners have fallen at double-digit rates, not only in the countries that have imposed sanctions against Russia, but also in the so-called “friendly countries”. This is evidenced by a new report by the European Central Bank (ECB), which analyzed trade statistics.
The ECB notes that the data may be incomplete, as the Russian authorities classified customs statistics, which forced the European body to aggregate data by country. However, representatives of the regulator consider such a study useful for assessing the impact of sanctions against Russia. The ECB notes that even against the backdrop of an increase in energy supplies to China, trade turnover between the countries remains under pressure: Chinese imports to Russia have collapsed by 23% since the beginning of the year, trade with the countries of the European Union has decreased by 45%, with the United States - by 85%, from the UK - by 86%.
At the same time, the regulator comes to the conclusion that Russia has managed to fully redirect its oil flows to other markets, and export volumes have recovered to pre-war levels. Experts attribute the recovery in oil exports to unprecedented discounts that Russia is ready to provide to its customers. The regulator estimates the size of the discount at 30%, price dumping allowed it to sharply increase its share in markets where Russia had previously been poorly represented - by the end of June, the share in the Chinese market increased from 6% to 11%, and in the Indian market from 2% to 11% . Deliveries to the "unfriendly" US and the UK also fell to zero.
Gas supplies from Russia to Europe have fallen by 65% since the beginning of the war compared to the same period last year, the ECB notes that European countries are trying to replace Russian gas with pipeline supplies from Norway, Azerbaijan, Africa, as well as increasing imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) , including from Russia. Moscow partially redirected pipeline supplies to Asia, but even China is not capable of replacing Europe: in six months of 2022, 7.5 billion cubic meters of gas were sent there, against 150 billion cubic meters of gas supplied by Russia to the EU in 2021.
Relations between China and Russia against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine often raise questions from analysts, Chinese companies do not take risks and do not help Russia bypass Western sanctions that have already been imposed, some brands generally took an example from their foreign competitors and left the Russian market. Some large-scale projects also turned out to be frozen, but there are other examples - the Russian car market is confidently captured by Chinese manufacturers.