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In early April, 500 tonnes of Russian spring wheat arrived at the Manzhouli land port. This is the first bulk shipment of Russian wheat to enter China in a market-oriented manner via the land port.
Peng Anqiao, assistant president of COFCO and chairman of COFCO Trading, regarded this as an effective attempt by COFCO Corporation to refine and implement the “Belt and Road” initiative, speed up its pace to spread its footprints along the “Belt and Road,” and accelerate the expansion of its agro-products trade cooperation with Russia and construction of overseas grain source system to continuously boost its international competitiveness.
The shipment of spring wheat grown in the Krasnoyarsk region of Russia has been subject to rigorous quality control inspection in accordance to COFCO’s quality system. According to COFCO, the wheat is suitable to be processed into special flour of medium and high grade since its major quality indexes, including unit weight, gluten content and stability are proved to be excellent.
The Russia-based subsidiary company of COFCO Agri under COFCO Corporation has procured the wheat by tapping into its own overseas grain source system. COFCO Trading is responsible for import and distribution to the Chinese market. In the future the volume of wheat trade between China and Russia is expected to reach new scale if Russia can ensure stable quality and continuous supply of wheat, COFCO said.
This new shipment of wheat from Russia is the latest of imports that COFCO has initiated. In March, the company imported 2,200 tonnes of wheat from Kazakhstan. During his state visit to Kazakhstan in September 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping made a proposal in his speech to build the “Silk Road Economic Belt,” thus unveiling the grand strategy of the “Belt and Road.” At present, China has become the largest trading partner of Kazakhstan, COFCO said. The wheat trade between the two countries plays a dominant role in their agro-products trade. Recent years have witnessed a rapid increase of wheat trade scale between two countries due to joint efforts made by COFCO Corporation and relevant enterprises in Kazakhstan.
Ma Lijun, general manager of Wheat Department of COFCO Trading, said this shipment of Kazakhstan wheat has been one of the latest achievement made by COFCO Corporation since it started to set up grain procurement and storage facilities in countries along the “Belt and Road.” It is the first time for bulk containers to be used for transporting Kazakhstan wheat, which was directly supplied by Nidera (Kazakhstan) under COFCO Corporation from its self-owned warehouse, to an inland port, which has improved the transportation efficiency of imported Kazakhstan wheat.
As the pioneer, leader and major channel of wheat trade between China and Kazakhstan, COFCO said it continues to improve the efficiency of importing Kazakhstan wheat, strives to exercise rigorous control of quality on imported wheat, and constantly expands the sales regions so as to lay a solid foundation for the sustained rapid growth of Kazakhstan wheat import business.
In recent years, COFCO has conducted agro-products trade with 54 countries along the “Belt and Road” and maintained a relatively fast growth momentum. After acquiring strategic resources such as warehousing, port and logistics facilities in regions along the “Belt and Road,” COFCO said it has become the largest grain exporter in Romania and one of the top grain exporters in Ukraine, and owns the most advanced agro-products entrepot facilities in Ukraine’s DSSC grain port. Meanwhile, COFCO also provides engineering design, financial and insurance services to many countries along the “Belt and Road.”