According to Reuters, China’s coal import from Russia in August surged to the highest level in five years due to extreme heat waves to meet soaring power demand.

Reuters cited data from China’s General Administration of Customs released on Tuesday, showing that China imported 8.54 million tonnes of Russian coal last month, up 57% from last year. In July the figure was 7.42 million tonnes.

Severe drought and prolonged extreme heat waves hit China in late July, causing power shortage due to low water levels for hydro-powered stations. Coal-fired power stations had to step up production to meet the strong demand under heat weather to fill the gap left by hydropower stations.

Russian coal is offered at a discount price as Western countries suspended their trade with Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. China and India have become major coal buyers of the country. 

Not just a surge in coal imports from Russia, trade between China and Russia also soared 31% in August with 117.2 billion dollars for the first eight months. China’s imports from Russia surged 50%, while exports increased about 8.5% from a year ago. 

The Chinese regime has declined to criticize Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. Early this year, they declared their partnership had “no limit”, just weeks before the invasion.

Chinese leader Xi just met Putin last week on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Uzbekistan. This was the first face-to-face meeting between the two leaders since Russia invaded Ukraine. 

During the meeting, Putin thanked China for the balanced stand on Ukraine, saying, “We highly appreciate the well-balanced position of our Chinese friends in connection with the Ukrainian crisis.”

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