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Discrepancy in China-Europe Railway Express Statistics Shows Heavy Shipping from China to Russia

Epoch Times found that the shipping data of the China-Europe Railway Express revealed that China has increased its shipping on the railways, mainly to Russia, but not to other European counties.

Xinhua News reported that, by August 21, in China 10,000 trains had departed on the China-Europe Railway Express, the railway connecting China to Europe through Russia. It took China ten more days last year to reach this target. China shipped out 972,000 standard containers this year, a 5 percent increase over last year.

However, Deutsche Welle reported on July 20 that European countries (excluding Russia and Ukraine) only received 25 percent of the shipping capacity this year as compared to last year’s level, quoting the supply change report from the internally renowned accounting firm Price Waterhouse Coopers. The report said that there were 15,000 trains with 1.5 million standard containers on this railway last year, averaging 27,500 containers per week. However, since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,  out of the concern for sanctions and merchandise being confiscated, European countries have stopped shipping from Russia over this train line, though is still in operation.

The China-Europe Railway Express has two routes. The northern route goes through Russia. The southern route goes through Kazakhstan and then to Russia. European countries used the first part of the southern route and then after arriving in Kazakhstan, they transit goods through Asabaijan, Georgia, and Turkey, or to the Caspian Sea via Baku, Azerbaijan. The new router can only ship 6,000 containers per week, less than 25 percent of last year’s capacity on the China-Europe Railway Express.

Economist Davy Jun Huang explained that the discrepancy in shipping data is between the starting point and the receiving point. Beijing has an increase in shipping but Europe (excluded Russia and Ukraine) receives less than 25 percent of the shipping capacity, meaning the majority of shipping ends in Russia.

Xinhua News also reported the returning shipping is about 88 percent of the departing shipping, indicating Russia might have exported a large quantity of agricultural products to China. That ratio was 50.6 percent in 2016.

Source: Epoch Times, August 22, 2022