Russia and China sign major grain contract – TASS

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Moscow will supply 70 million tons of agricultural produce as part of a $25 billion deal

Moscow and Beijing have signed a major deal on long-term supplies of Russian grain to China, TASS reported on Wednesday.  

Russia is building up new export routes for its agricultural produce as part of the New Land Grain Corridor (NLGC) initiative.   

Worth 2.5 trillion rubles ($25.7 billion), the contract is one of the largest ever deals between the two countries, NLGC’s deputy CEO for development, Karen Ovsepian, told TASS on the sidelines of the international Belt and Road Forum in Beijing on Wednesday.   

The new 12-year agreement will provide China with 70 million tons of Russian grain, soybeans, and oilseed cargoes.   

The NLGC program, led by a company of the same name, is designed to expand grain exports from the Urals, Siberia, and the Russian Far East to China, Central Asia, and the Middle East. The initiative is supported by the Russian and Chinese governments as part of the Eurasian Economic Union and the Silk Road Economic Belt.  

NLGC export infrastructure includes the Zabaikalsky grain terminal on the border with China, as well as a network of grain elevators across Siberia, the Urals, and the Russian Far East. Launched last September, the Zabaikalsky terminal is the first of its kind in the world and is the largest grain logistics facility in Russia. Construction continues at the facility, and the total investment is estimated at 9 billion rubles ($92.5 million), all from private funds.   

According to Ovsepian, the latest grain supply agreement will balance the export structure within the Belt and Road Initiative as it will “by far replace the lost volumes of Ukrainian exports” with produce from Siberia and the Russian Far East.

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