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Germany slips behind China as top importer of Russian energy

BERLIN– China has overtaken Germany as the biggest buyer of Russian energy exports since the start of the war in Ukraine, an independent research group said on Monday.

The Energy and Clean Air Research Center said Russia had received around 93 billion euros ($97 billion) in revenue from the sale of oil, natural gas and coal since February 24. , at which time it invaded Ukraine.

About 61% of fossil fuels worth some 57 billion euros were exported to the European Union in the first 100 days of the conflict, the Helsinki-based group said.

This included 12.1 billion euros in exports to Germany, 7.8 billion euros each to Italy and the Netherlands and 4.4 billion euros to Poland, the group said. .

Germany, which was the biggest importer of Russian fossil fuels during the first two months of the war, slipped to second place behind China, which bought some 12.6 billion euros worth of energy from Moscow. .

The shift reflects the growing importance of China and other non-European economies to Russian energy exports, which provide around 40% of the country’s federal budget, the group said.

Figures published by the organization show that Germany remains heavily dependent on Russian energy, especially natural gas. Imports in May were down 8% from the previous two months, coinciding with warmer weather.

The European Union as a whole cut its energy imports from Russia by more than 100 million euros a day in May, led by Poland, which was previously a big buyer of Russian oil and gas, calculated the Center for Energy and Clean Air Research. .

In contrast, France, Belgium and the Netherlands bought more natural gas and oil on short-term markets in May, the group said.

He noted that because Russia exports more oil by ship to countries where it has no pipelines, tankers are in high demand. Four-fifths of those tankers are owned by European or American companies, he said.

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Post expires at 10:38pm on Friday June 24th, 2022