A Chinese company has invested $960 million in setting up a zone in Russia to manufacture and trade in wood products. The move will further boost bilateral trade and is another example of how the Belt and Road Initiative can bring businesses and countries together…Full Article: ECNS.cn Sept 2017

Key Point

  • The China-Russia Tomsk State Wood Industry and Trade Cooperation Zone will be located in Asino, Tomsk Oblast, Russia. According to the deputy general manager of Hubei Fuhan Industrial (Group) Development, the zone will encompass 24,000 sq. km of forests and will have annual output of approximately CNY 5 billion (USD 759 million).

ChinaAg Comments

  • Russia’s agricultural trade with China is dominated by Russia’s exportation of timber/wood products and seafood. All other agricultural products from Russia are minimal. Russia’s agricultural imports from China are modest and typically consist of value-added products such as processed vegetables, fruits, nuts and seafood. Russia also imports a fair amount of fresh vegetables from China.
  • In February 2017, it was reported that China’s Manzhouli Lianzhong Group would lead a CNY 1.5 billion yuan (USD 218 million) project to develop Russia’s forest reserves. The project would also focus on wood processing, storage and trade between the two countries. It was noted that Inner Mongolia’s Manzhouli had been the largest customs point for (Russian) wood exports to China for the past 16 years.
  • In early September 2016, during the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin gave Xi Jinping Russian ice cream as a gift. The majority of Russian ice cream imports enter China via the Quarantine Bureau of Manzhouli, northeastern China.
  • In 2016, there were 25 outbound China-Europe freight train lines and seven inbound railway lines operating in Manzhouli, Inner Mongolia Region.
  • From 2015 to 2016, cross-border freight train traffic at the Manzhouli Customs checkpoint, northeastern China, increased by more than 88% to 1,036 trains.
  • In March 2015, China began exporting fresh fruit and vegetables to Novosibirsk, Russia, via the Manzhouli Customs checkpoint (Inner Mongolia and Russia). During the same month, China announced it would halt commercial logging of natural forests in key areas by 2020. 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, China and Russia signed an agreement to ease restrictions of the movement of fruit and vegetables (China to Russia), and timber (Russia to China).
  • In April 2014, China banned commercial logging of Heilongjiang’s natural forests in order to protect the environment and encourage sustainable forests. As of 2014, Heilongjiang had 18.5 million hectares of (state-owned) forests.
  • From 2010 to 2013, Chinese (i.e. mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau) imports of rough timber (HS 4403) rose from 30.8 million cubic meters to 41.3 million cubic meters. In 2013, New Zealand (10.3 million cubic meters) overtook Russia (8.7 million cubic meters) as China’s largest supplier of rough timber. The next largest suppliers were the USA, Papua New Guinea, and Canada.
  • From 2010 to 2013, Chinese (i.e. mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau) imports of sawn timber (HS 4407) increased from 9.9 million cubic meters to 15.9 million cubic meters. In 2013, Russia was China’s largest supplier at 5.1 million cubic meters. The next largest suppliers were Canada, Thailand, and the USA.
  • Founded in 1992, the Manzhouli Border Economic Cooperation Zone is home to various Chinese timber enterprises including Manzhouli Lianzhong Woods (glued laminated timber producer), Manzhouli Sanxia Wooden Products, Manzhouli Hongfeng Wood, and more. Manzhouli Lianzhong Woods itself was founded in 2005.
  • Founded in 1991 and headquartered in Wuhan, Hubei Province, Hubei Fuhan Industrial (Group) Development produces wooden building materials including blockboard and plywood.

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