China's imports of Russian oil up 8.2% in 2022

China's imports of Russian crude oil rose more than 8 percent in 2022 from the previous year, showing there was robust trade between the two countries even after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Chinese customs authorities published data on Friday that show crude oil imports increased 8.2 percent in volume and 43.9 percent in value. LNG purchases increased 43.9 percent in volume and 2.4 times in value.

Total trade between the two countries hit a record high last year. It jumped more than 29 percent from the previous year to 190 billion dollars.

But on a monthly basis, Chinese imports of Russian crude oil decreased in December by 10.5 percent from a year earlier to 6.47 million tons. This was the first decline in nine months.

The focus now is whether this decline will continue amid enhanced sanctions against Russia by the West over Ukraine. The Group of Seven nations and others last month capped the price of Russian seaborne crude oil.