Russia turns to China for agricultural imports

Global Business

The Ukraine crisis has led to Russian bans on western food shipments. That’s leading Moscow to look to China to make up for the shortfall. CCTV America’s Zhang Nini reports.

Russia turns to China for agricultural imports

The Ukraine crisis has led to Russian bans on western food shipments. That's leading Moscow to look to China to make up for the shortfall. CCTV America’s Zhang Nini reports.

Russia’s ban on agricultural imports from the U.S. and E.U. could force the country to look elsewhere. Experts say this could translate into China increasing its exports of vegetables, fruits, and seafood to Russia in the coming 12 months.

In Russia, up to a third of its domestic consumption of food comes from abroad. Much of it comes from the U.S. and Europe, where relations have recently soured over sanctions imposed by the U.S. and E.U. for the Ukraine crisis.

In retaliation, a Russian presidential decree has banned all imports of food from the U.S. and all fruit and vegetables from the E.U. Industry experts say this could be a boon for Chinese food exporters.

Vegetable, fruit and seafood each make up at least 10 percent of Chinese food exports to Russia. Combined, that’s nearly 80 percent of China’s agricultural exports to Russia.

In Manzhouli, a border city with Russia, the ban’s effect has already been felt. Chinese exports to Russia there have risen by 50 percent.

The E.U.’s share of Russia’s agricultural market stands at nearly 40 percent. The benefits to Chinese exporters owing to the ban could dwindle once tensions scale down. But in the short term, experts say it is likely for Russia to diversify its food import sources and a chance for China to improve its food standards.