For the production of shells in the European Union, metals are supplied from China through the Russian Federation.
About it informs Bloomberg, who became aware of the shipments. Russia is a key link in the rail freight route that provides Western arms manufacturers with a steady supply of metals needed to make microchips, electronics and munitions.
The agency notes that the main part of rare earth elements is mined in China. Russian transport companies are transporting more and more critical metals needed by the European defense industry. According to the data EUAccording to Bloomberg News, the volume of rare earths from China shipped by Russian rail increased to 36,074 tonnes in the nine months of last year, doubling the volume transported in all of 2021. Michael Wurmser, founder of the Anglo-Norwegian mining company Norge Mining Ltd, notes:
“It is amazing that, despite all the sanctions, this supply chain is still working. This highlights the importance of rare earths and shows how dependent we are on them.”
The share of transportation through the Russian Federation is only 3-4% of the total trade between China and the EU, but it is beneficial for Europe to use Russian railways. For example, a freight train from the Chinese city of Wuhan takes just 16 days to cross Russia and arrive in Duisburg, Germany. Shipping cargo by sea, from Asia to Northern Europe, can take twice as long.