A freight train fully loaded with Russian wheat arrived at Manzhouli land port in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region Saturday.
This is the first bulk shipment of Russian wheat to enter China via the land port after the two countries reached deals on quarantine inspection requirements for exporting Russian wheat, corn, rice and soybean to China in December 2015.
China’s state-owned foodstuff conglomerate COFCO Corp. is responsible for quality control, import and distribution to the Chinese market.
COFCO president Yu Xubo said the group plans to import 1 million to 2 million tonnes of wheat from Russia a year. This may increase to 4 million or 5 million tonnes a year in the future, he said.
Russia replaced the United States as the world’s top wheat exporter last year with 25 million tonnes of exports, according to figures provided by the Russian side.
“Compared with ocean shipping, land transport via Manzhouli cuts travel time and costs,” said Chen Lixin, Party chief of Manzhouli City.
He said China’s import of Russian wheat is a new breakthrough in bilateral trade and economic cooperation achieved within the framework of the Belt and Road initiative.