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China In-Focus — Stocks end higher; Russian gas, coal imports rise; Soybean imports from Brazil fall

BEIJING: Mainland China stocks tracked global peers higher on Wednesday, while an official pledge to support economic recovery from the COVID-19 fallout also helped lift market sentiment.

At the close, the Shanghai Composite index gained 0.77 percent to 3,304.72 points, while the blue-chip CSI300 index was up 0.34 percent at 4,283.8 points.

The financial sector sub-index edged up 0.17 percent, the consumer staples sector climbed 0.32 percent, and the health care sub-index finished higher by 0.95 percent.

China boosts Russian gas imports: Gazprom

China has been increasing Russian gas imports via the Power of Siberia pipeline, while supplies reached a new daily record high on July 19, Kremlin-controlled energy giant Gazprom said on Wednesday.

It also said that the company is supplying gas to China above its daily contractual obligations. The company did not provide any figures.

China’s imports of Russian coal rise 22 percent due to cheaper cargoes

China’s coal imports from Russia rose 22 percent in June from a month ago, despite a decline in its total coal purchases, as traders were drawn to discounted cargoes following western sanctions on Moscow over the war in Ukraine.

The world’s biggest consumer of the fossil fuel brought in 6.12 million tons of coal from Russia last month, data from the General Administration of Customs showed on Wednesday.

That compares with 5.01 million tons in May and 5.24 million tons in June 2021.

China has been increasing coal imports from Russia since March, when global coal prices soared to record highs but Russian cargoes were traded at steep discounts, as western allies weaned themselves away from doing business with Moscow after Russia attacked Ukraine.

Soybean imports from Brazil fall in June

China’s soybean imports from Brazil in June fell, while shipments from the US increased, customs data showed on Wednesday, as high prices curbed demand for South American cargoes.

China, the world’s top soybean buyer, imported 7.24 million tons of the oilseed from Brazil in June, down from 10.48 million tons a year earlier, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.

Total imports last month dropped 23 percent from a year before, to 8.25 million tons, as high global prices and weak demand curbed appetite for the oilseed, customs data showed earlier.

Shipments from the US in June came in at 773,114 tons, up from 54,806 tons in the same month last year, according to customs data.

Chinese buyers turned to US soybeans for better profits during the peak Brazilian soybean export season, as bad weather pushed up prices of the oilseed in the South American country.

For the first six months of the year, China brought in 27.71 million tons of Brazilian beans, up from 26.13 million tons in the same period of 2021.

Imports from the US for January to June came in at 17.54 million tons, down from 21.57 million tons the previous year.

(With input from Reuters) 

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