China’s energy imports from Russia have continued to grow, topping $6 billion in April, according to customs data cited by Bloomberg on Friday.
The statistics showed that purchases of oil, gas and coal jumped 75%, while imports of Russian liquefied natural gas surged 80% from a year earlier to 463,000 tons. Crude oil imports rose 4% on the year to 6.55 million tons, with Russia again behind only Saudi Arabia as China’s main source of oil.
The figures showed that 72% of China’s total imports in April from its strategic partner were energy-related, Bloomberg said.
According to the report, the volume figures for gas don’t include pipeline imports, which haven’t been reported since the start of the year.
The media also reported earlier this week that Beijing is in discussions with Moscow to buy additional oil supplies as it seeks to replenish its storage tanks with discounted Russian crude before prices rise again.
At a press briefing on Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin neither confirmed nor denied reports that China plans to replenish its strategic oil reserves with imports from Russia. He pointed out that trade and economic cooperation between the two countries has always been based on the principles of mutual respect, equality, and mutual benefit.