China’s spending on Russian energy products hit a record $8.3 billion last month, as the world’s top importer continues to expand its reliance on Moscow for overseas supplies of crude, oil products, gas and coal. The haul for August was 68% higher than a year ago and included a record amount of coal, according to Chinese customs figures on Tuesday. It brings the total over the six months since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to nearly $44 billion, an increase of 74%. Although import values have been inflated by the global spike in energy prices caused by the war, China is still taking more volumes, sometimes at discounted rates, from its strategic ally. Russia for its part needs to find a home for exports that are being shunned by much of the rest of the world as punishment for the invasion. China’s increased spending also comes despite generally weaker energy […]