Russia ‘seems to be rejoining the world trade,’ after its 3 largest container ports neared their highest level of activity since the Ukraine war: think tank

Russia’s trade activity picked up in August, despite sweeping sanctions over its invasion of Ukraine, according to a German think tank.

“In Russia’s ports, the number of container ships arriving is surging and, despite sanctions and a weak ruble, is almost at the level seen before the outbreak of the war,” the Kiel Institute for the World Economy wrote in a Thursday report.

The institute’s calculations are based on the volume of goods unloaded at Russia’s three largest container ports — St. Petersburg, Vladivostok, and Novorossiysk — per data compiled by FleetMon, a German shipping data service.

The institute said it’s unclear where the goods were coming from, but the activity at the country’s ports appeared “surprisingly high.”

“This occurs despite sanctions imposed by Western nations and the falling value of the ruble, which is disappointing,” Vincent Stamer, the head of the institute’s Kiel Trade Indicator, said in the report.

Russia seems to be rejoining the world trade,” he added.

The institute did not provide a breakdown of the volume of containers that passed through Russia’s three largest ports in August. However, the report attached a graph that shows the year-on-year percentage change in container load arrivals to the three major Russian ports.

The report from the Kiel Institute for the World Economy came after data from Beijing on Thursday showed China’s imports from Russia rose by the most ever in dollar terms in August, according to Bloomberg records.

In August, China bought $11.5 billion of Russian goods — including energy products and commodities — following a surge in trade between the two countries since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Total trade between China and Russia has already reached $155 billion in the first eight months of the year.

Mikhail Mishustin, the Russian prime minister, said in May that his country’s trade with China is expected to rise to $200 billion this year, surpassing the previous record of $190 billion reached in 2022.

The Kiel Institute for the World Economy did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider sent outside regular business hours.
Source: Business Insider

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