A freight train loaded with commodities, jars of ketchup and Christmas trees left the West Railway Station in Urumqi, capital of northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, on Wednesday [30 November 2016] morning, heading for Alma-Ata, the largest city in Kazakhstan. This marks the 100th train journey since the freight service started in late May, said Niu Quan, spokesman for the Urumqi Railway Bureau…Full Article: ECNS.cn Dec 2016

Key Points

  • In November 2016, the Ürümqi-Almaty cargo route was increased to daily service.
  • In May 2016, freight train service from China’s Ürümqi to Kazakhstan’s Almaty (aka Alma-Ata) began operating once a week.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In November 2016, China’s Asia Pacific Food Capital (APOFCO) and KAZNEX INVEST signed a MoU on the establishment of a ~US$3 billion joint agricultural investment fund.
  • In August 2016, Kazakhstan Potash Corporation (KPC) and Chongqing Agricultural Production Material Group agreed to form a fertilizer joint-venture in Chongqing. As a result of the JV deal, Chongqing will import Kazakh potash by rail (Chongqing-Xinjiang-Europe route). The potash will be sold throughout southwestern China, as well as exported to Japan and Southeast Asia.
  • In July 2016, Kazakhstan’s Maslo-Del LLP planned to increase its exports of sunflower oil China from 4,600 MTs in 2015 to 10,000 MTs in 2016.
  • In April 2016, China’s Sinoma (China National Materials Group Corporation), a cement equipment and engineering company, announced it would annually purchase agricultural goods (e.g. vegetable oil) from Kazakhstan. At the same, China announced it would construct a vegetable oil plant in northern Kazakhstan.
  • In March 2016, China imported 1,000 MTs of sunflower seed oil and 1,000 MTs of rapeseed oil from Kazakhstan by rail. Launched in late 2013, the Xi’an-Almaty cargo train route (~6 days) generally only carried goods from China to Kazakhstan, but has now begun shipping goods into China.
  • In January 2016, China’s COFCO Group announced it would construct tomato processing facilities in West Kazakhstan Region, East Kazakhstan Region, and Kyzylorda Region. Construction on the first factory will begin in 2016 and will have a tomato paste production capacity of 4,000 MTs per day.
  • In December 2013, the Zeleny corridor opened in Bakhty, East Kazakhstan Province and in its cross border checkpoint in Paikitu, Xinjiang Region, China. Additionally, Kazakhstan’s Akmola region [central Kazakhstan] planned to export 10,000 MTs of wheat to China by the end of the year. Kazakhstan expected to increase its wheat exports to China in the following years.
  • 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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