China’s first refrigerated-container train left for Moscow from northeast China’s Dalian on Monday, marking the opening of a new transport link between the two countries. The new refrigerated-freight line is 8,600 km long, with trains taking about 10 days to reach Moscow. The train is carrying products worth US$150,000, including pears from Hebei, pomelos from Guangdong and garlic from Shandong…Full Article: China.org.cn Aug 2016

Key Point

  • The new refrigerated-container train route will cut shipping times by 60% versus traditional shipping routes (ship and rail). Once crossing the border into Russia, the Chinese goods will be transferred onto a Russian freight train near Lake Baikal.

ChinaAg Comments

  • From January to May 2016, China exported 1,024 MTs of fresh produce to Russia via the Erenhot Customs checkpoint (Inner Mongolia and Mongolia).
  • In May 2016, Russia’s Minister of Agriculture announced that import bans relating to fresh produce (August 2014) from Western Europe would likely be extended to the end of 2017.
  • In March 2016, China’s Minister of Agriculture encouraged Chinese companies should invest in the agriculture sector of Russia’s Far East.
  • In April 2016, freight train service between Lyon, France, and Wuhan, China (via Alataw Pass in Xinjiang Region), began operation. The new train route, part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, was expected to transport agricultural goods and wine (among others).
  • In December 2015, China and Russia signed a phytosanitary agreement relating to Chinese imports of Russian wheat, soybeans, corn, rapeseed, and rice. However, before grain shipments can begin, additional changes/amendments to the phytosanitary agreement must be made.
  • In October 2015, China’s Food Conglomerate, COFCO Group, announced plans to construct two warehouses (100,000 MT capacity each) in Russia’s Far East. COFCO was interested in constructing the warehouses in Russia’s Mikhailovsky priority development territory located in southern Primorsky Krai.
  • In June 2015, China announced it would start the construction of a joint Chinese-Russian livestock agricultural complex in Heilongjiang province. The agricultural complex will developed by China’s Zhongding Dairy Farming and Russia’s Severny Bur, with approximately 100,000 ha of Russian and Chinese land to be used to grow animal feed. Russia’s Primorsky Krai borders China’s Heilongjiang province.
  • In June 2015, a Zhejiang-based company was granted permission to lease 115,000 hectares of uncultivated land in Russia’s Transbaikal region (i.e. Zabaykalsky Krai). The Chinese company plans to use the land to grow vegetables, wheat, and other agricultural commodities, as well as raise livestock.
  • In March 2015, China began exporting fresh fruit and vegetables to Novosibirsk, Russia, via the Manzhouli Customs checkpoint (Inner Mongolia and Russia). By November 2015, refrigerated trains were being used to export fresh produce all the way to Moscow. In 2015, China exported 1,851 MTs of fresh produce to Russia via the Manzhouli Customs checkpoint.
  • In August 2014, Russian banned agricultural imports, including fresh produce, from various Western countries over sanctions relating to the Ukraine crisis.
  • In 2004, the Sino-Russian agricultural joint venture “Armada” was established. The agricultural JV.
  • In the Autumn of 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping launched The Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road, a strategic initiative to boost the economic development and trade of countries lying along the South China Sea, Bay of Bengal, Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean, and Red Sea, as well as overland in Central Asia and Europe.

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