Russia, China expand agricultural trade
Forging stronger political ties, Russia and China also are expanding agricultural trade, promising changes for the global grain market
Following a March meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed the government to consider signing an intergovernmental agreement with China for the establishment of a Russia-China land-based grain corridor
As part of the project, Russia hoped to expand grain production in Siberia, the Urals and the Far East, poorly populated parts of the country where agriculture is not developed as much as in the European regions. The additional quantities are planned to be almost entirely sold to China.
Russian grain exports to China already are booming, said Olga Zakharova, head of the sanitary department of the Russian veterinary regulator Rosselhoznadzor. Since 2014, the year when the first Western sanctions hit the Russian economy, the deliveries skyrocketed by a factor of 27 times.
During the first nine months of 2023, Russia exported 3.52 million tonnes of grain to China, compared with 2.2 million tonnes in the previous year
“This is a great achievement,” Zakharova said, speaking about this year’s export growth.
In the previous decades, Russian grain exports to China were not only hampered by sanitary restrictions, but also relatively high logistics costs and a lack of transport and logistics infrastructure
Russia shares a border with China only in the Far East, nearly 9,000 kilometers away from the key Russian agricultural regions.
In July 2023, Russia launched the Zabaikalsk Grain Terminal as part of the New Land-Based Grain Corridor Initiative, worth 9 billion roubles ($100 million).
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