China Becoming Most Important Market for Russian Food Exporters: Report

On the Russian side of the border with China, in Manzhouli, long queues of trucks loaded with Russian wheat flour, rapeseed and other farm produce can be seen every day, waiting to deliver goods to China, Xinhua reports.

The land checkpoint in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region has seen a boom of agricultural trade driven by China’s rising demand for high-quality agricultural products. The largest land border city between China and Russia handles 60 percent of the bilateral trade via land transport, the news agency writes.

Data from the border crossing show that imports of agricultural products from Russia involving more than 30 varieties amounted to 340 million yuan ($49 million) in the first four months of this year, up 24 percent year on year.

Among the imports, there were 15,000 tons of grain with an import value of 26 million yuan, up 12.4 percent year on year.

“Russian farms are in a good position to produce high-quality agricultural products, which meet the demands of the Chinese market,” said Grisha Grishinka, manager of Eva Company Ltd., a Russian trade firm.

The company is mainly engaged in agriculture, cattle production and trade and works out of a 10,000-hectare farm in the Russian Far East. Grishinka said orders from China have become the main source of the company’s export business.

Gina Kozhevnikova, a businesswoman from Krasnokamensk in Russia, said she used to trade Russian specialties such as leather goods, carpets and tapestries to China. But she shifted her business to trade Russian bread, biscuits and food made of Russian flour to China from last year.

The agricultural trade between China and Russia hit a record high in 2018, exceeding $5 billion, according to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.

Chinese agricultural enterprises have also actively invested in Russia. In the Russian Far East, 28 Chinese agricultural investment projects are in effect, involving a total investment of $4 billion, mainly in agriculture, forestry, commerce and trade.