May 21, 2024


China and Russia strengthen soybean trade amid expanding agricultural cooperation



Agricultural experts and industry insiders note that cooperation between China and Russia in the soybean industry serves as a win-win situation, meeting China's growing import demand while providing Russia with a significant export market and development opportunities, Global Times reported.


Agricultural experts from China and Russia have engaged in in-depth discussions on bilateral cooperation, food security, and food processing, providing suggestions and support for the development of agriculture in both countries.


This meeting took place during the ongoing eighth China-Russia Expo in Harbin, Northeast China's Heilongjiang province, which borders Russia's Far East region. Analysts highlight Russia's significant potential in soybean cultivation and exports, an important focus of cooperation between the two nations.


Cooperation between China and Russia is accelerating across various fields, including energy, agriculture, finance, and infrastructure. Business representatives from both countries remain enthusiastic about the future of bilateral trade ties.


Driven by the market need for diversifying supply sources for food security and reducing reliance on singular suppliers, experts believe China's soybean imports from Russia will increase in the near future.


Russia is also likely to become a major supplier of carbohydrate foods such as wheat, rice, and corn to China, thereby reducing China's reliance on soybean imports from the US. This shift in trade dynamics is expected to strengthen agricultural cooperation between China and Russia.


China's soybean supply remains stable as domestic output steadily increases alongside sufficient imports. In 2023, China's soybean production reached 20.84 million tonnes), marking a 2.8% year-on-year increase, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.


As one of the largest markets for agricultural commodities and the world's largest importer of soybeans, China ensures food security through moderate imports to compensate for structural grain production shortages. In 2023, China imported 99.4 million tonnes of soybeans, an 11.4% year-on-year increase, with an import value of CNY 419.9 billion (US$58.1 billion), according to the General Administration of Customs of China.


Currently, the US and Brazil are the primary sources of China's soybean imports, with Brazil's share increasing to 70% while the US share decreased to 24%, according to public data.


Industry insiders note that China seeks to import substitutes from Brazil, Argentina, and Russia due to their lower prices compared with domestically produced soybeans. They predict further cooperation and development opportunities in agriculture between China and Russia.


-      Global Times

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