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China warned it should not pin its hopes on Russian soybeans plugging supply gap caused by US trade war

China warned it should not pin its hopes on Russian soybeans plugging supply gap caused by US trade war

Russian soybean exports to China are likely to remain low for the next few years, an agricultural specialist has warned, suggesting that amount produced will not be enough to provide a real alternative to the United States.

China suspended purchases of US soybeans and other farm products this month after US President Donald Trump threatened to impose more tariffs on Chinese products, compounding the shortages caused by 25 per cent tariffs on the crop that have been in place since July last year.

Russia is one of the many alternative sources China has been exploring since the start of the trade war and last month it approved imports of soybeans from all parts of Russia, opening itself up to supplies from the European part.

Although Russia’s overall production of the crop – a vital food source for farm animals – is much lower than America’s, some in Beijing hoped its northern neighbour would be able to make a significant contribution in future.

Chinese agricultural firms are looking to expand into Russia in the hope of boosting supplies. Photo: EPAChinese agricultural firms are looking to expand into Russia in the hope of boosting supplies. Photo: EPA
Chinese agricultural firms are looking to expand into Russia in the hope of boosting supplies. Photo: EPA
Russian soybean exports to China are likely to remain low for the next few years, an agricultural specialist has warned, suggesting that amount produced will not be enough to provide a real alternative to the United States.
China suspended purchases of US soybeans and other farm products this month after US President Donald Trump threatened to impose more tariffs on Chinese products, compounding the shortages caused by 25 per cent tariffs on the crop that have been in place since July last year.
Russia is one of the many alternative sources China has been exploring since the start of the trade war and last month it approved imports of soybeans from all parts of Russia, opening itself up to supplies from the European part.
Although Russia’s overall production of the crop – a vital food source for farm animals – is much lower than America’s, some in Beijing hoped its northern neighbour would be able to make a significant contribution in future.

Last month China’s Commerce Minister Zhong Shan said the country hoped to “deepen its trade in soybeans” with Russia after a meeting with his counterparts in Moscow, days after Rusagro, a Russian agricultural exporter,had shipped its first bulk vessel of soybeans to China.

But Dmitry Rylko, director general of the Moscow-based Institute for Agricultural Market Studies, said Beijing should not pin its hopes on this new source of supplies.

“In the next few years, European Russia’s soybean exports to China may be very low,” Rylko told an annual gathering of Chinese soybean growers, traders and officials in Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang on the border with Russia, on Friday.

He said soybean output in the European part of Russia would not be able to satisfy domestic demands until 2024, despite an increase in plantation areas.