Russia & China: Russia may export more wheat, barley to China, experts say

Russia may export more agricultural products such as wheat and barley to China as Russia is pushing for the construction of a land grain corridor between the two countries, businesses and experts said on May 11.

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Source:  Company news

Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed the cabinet and the central bank to study the conclusion of an intergovernmental agreement on the Russia-China New Land Grain Corridor by October 1, Russia’s Sputnik news agency reported on May 11.

It said the measure will help to increase grain production in the Far Eastern, Ural and Siberian Federal districts, as well as the volume of exports to the Chinese market.

Zhao Xiangyu, chairman of Heilongjiang Province-based Liangtai Agriculture Co, told the Global Times that the land corridor for grain transport will boost throughput and add an additional transport route for Russian grain exports to China. Most of the grain exports are shipped to China from the Black Sea.

The development will also boost agricultural trade between China and Russia, Zhao said.

However, Zhao cautioned that there are issues hindering growth such as tariffs, quotas and a lack of transportation capacity.

“Currently, the total trade volume for agricultural products between the two countries is not very big, but there is great potential for bilateral cooperation in this regard given growing Chinese demand for quality agricultural products,” Zhang Hong, an associate research fellow at the Institute of Russian, Eastern European, and Central Asian Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Thursday.

China has basically achieved self-sufficiency in food, and imports only a small amount of wheat. In order to better ensure grain security and diversify grain imports, China relaxed restrictions on imports of Russian wheat in 2022, Zhang said.

He said that Russia may increase exports to China of wheat and barley, two kinds of agricultural products in which Russia has advantages both in price and quality. “As for the land corridor, trains running through ports such as Manzhouli and Suifenhe could transport grain,” he said.

Agricultural cooperation between China and Russia has seen relatively fast growth in recent years. Russia exported $7 billion worth of agricultural products to China last year, up 41.4 percent year-on-year, according to media reports.

Trade between China and Russia jumped 41.3 percent year-on-year in the first four months to $73.15 billion, and analysts said the trade figure is well on track to meet the goal of crossing the $200 billion mark ahead of schedule.

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