New Silk Road traffic to/from Europe decreased by 38%

According to figures released by China National Railway Group Co., Ltd. in early January, China-Europe trains reached an all-time high of 16,000 trips and delivered 1,6 million TEUs along the New Silk Road corridors. Despite the unstable international situation, last year freight traffic along the New Silk Road showed a year-on-year increase of 9 per cent compared to 2021 and 10 per cent compared to 2020.

At the same time, according to ERAI (the Eurasian Rail Alliance Index developed by the holding company of Kazakh, Russian and Belarusian railways), the transported volumes between China and the countries of the European Union (in both directions) decreased by more than 38% compared to 2021 (from 618,180 TEUs to 386,374 TEUs).

Westbound traffic dropped by 36% from 409,458 TEUs in 2021 to 262,194 TEUs last year. The volume of goods transported from the European Union to China decreased by 40% (from 208,722 TEUs to 124,098 TEUs).

The decline in cargo volume is a result of the global energy and manufacturing crisis and China’s internal restrictions due to increase in COVID-19 cases. Experts note that bilateral relations between Europe and China keep improving, with both sides expressing their will for closer cooperation. The relaxation of China’s Covid-19-related policies can boost Silk Road traffic even more.

In general, the situation in China’s foreign trade has not deteriorated. Exports of this country in 2022 increased by 7%, to $3.59 billion, and imports - by 1.1%, to $2.72 billion.