Russian Exports to China Fall Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

February 19, 2020

Russia's export volumes to China fell by more than a quarter in the first 1-1/2 months of 2020 as China grappled with the coronavirus epidemic, Russia's Izvestia newspaper cited the customs service as saying on Wednesday.

Moscow has imposed various restrictions on travel to China, its biggest trade partner, to stop the spread of the virus and said on Tuesday it would not allow Chinese citizens to enter Russia from Feb. 20.

Russian exports to China fell 27.6% year on year from Jan. 1 to Feb. 10, the Federal Customs Service in Russia's Far East was cited as saying. In the first 10 days of February, exports halved from 237,000 tonnes to 118,000 tonnes, it said.

The Federal Customs Service could not immediately be reached for comment.

Flour products, ore, timber and some other categories of export were the worst affected, Izvestia reported.

Russia has placed thousands of people in quarantine but has only reported two cases of coronavirus on its territory. Both of those were Chinese nationals who have since recovered, authorities say.

The Federal Customs Service has not yet published its official export data for this year. 

(Reporting by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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