According to head of the railroad monopoly Russian Railways, Russian trade is rapidly shifting to Asia from Europe. Head of the company Vladimir Yakunin said that neither the company, which is often seen as a barometer for the economy as a whole, nor the government had anticipated the sudden change.
Mr Yakunin said that "In the end of 2008, beginning 2009 our cargo flows shifted. The main volumes went to Far Eastern ports because shippers have reoriented toward South-East Asian markets.”
He said that shipping volumes of steel, coking coal, petro-chemical products and fertilizers have grown by up to 30% in the Far East, and the existing infrastructure had no excess capacity to cope with the rising trade.
Steel Guru reports that China has overtaken Germany this year as Russia’s largest trade partner, accounting for 9.2% of the total trade turnover, while South Korea has overtaken Great Britain.