It’s India saving the Kremlin’s bacon…
Besides buying some cheap oil, and public political support for its ‘special military operation’, China is not helping Russia militarily in its invasion of Ukraine.
China has refrained from military support — despite talks on the issue, not one piece of Chinese kit has been seen in Ukraine, reported Russian independent news outlet The Bell.
The CCP is buying cheap Russian oil, at below market prices.
Tempted by discounts of up to 30%, China and India were happy to increase orders of Russian oil. According to Norwegian industry consultants Rystad Energy, sales of Russian crude oil to Asia almost completely compensate for European losses.
Surprisingly, though, China’s role in this turnaround is minimal — and this is illustrated by a single graph from Bloomberg’s weekly review of Russian oil experts. This chart shows that almost all the growth in Russia’s maritime oil exports to Asia in 2022 (up 43% from late January to late June) is down to India. In January, Russian supplies to India were close to zero (30,000 barrels a day), but by June they were up to 740,000 barrels a day. The same chart shows that deliveries to China actually fell. In January, Russia sold China 820,000 barrels a day. In June it was 740,000.
Russia’s oil trade with China is barely increasing. According to Chinese customs statistics, in the first half of 2022, Russian crude oil exports to China were up just 4%, according to Marcel Salikhov, director of economics at the HSE Institute of Energy and Finance. “It’s not much, and it isn’t coming to anyone’s ‘rescue’,” he said. “From the point of view of oil imports from Russia, India is the big ‘savior’.
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