Expectations that China would scoop up much of the Russian commodities left orphaned by Western sanctions may have to be revisited.

A combination of Beijing’s zero-Covid policies and high commodity prices may mean China imports less crude oil, natural gas and coal — at least for a while yet.

As recently as late February, analysts were touting the booming trade between China and Russia, which hit a record high of almost $150bn last year. The two countries had aimed to boost bilateral trade to $250bn by 2024.