COFCO Corporation’s liner ship Xinliang, which departed from Vladivostok on December 26 loaded with 3884.33 tonnes of Russian soybeans imported by COFCO Trading, arrived at its destination the port of Qingdao on January 1, 2020. This shipload of soybeans has been the first imported batch since COFCO Corporation signed an MOU for cooperation with Russian Agricultural Group at the fifth Eastern Economic Forum held in September, 2019, indicating that COFCO has kickstarted the import of Russian soybeans harvested in the new season of 2019/2020. According to the MOU for cooperation, a total of 50,000 tonnes of soybeans shall be imported. COFCO will continue to import the rest of soybeans in 2020.
During the ship-loading of soybeans, Chinese government’s special representative for Eurasian affairs Li Hui and accompanying officials went to the port to check the loading operation, where he was briefed by COFCO Far East Co., Limited on previous year’s grain trade operation on a trial basis, Russian Agricultural Group’s agricultural cultivation in Primorsky Krai, and logistics and transshipment at May 1st Pier. Mr. Li noted that as China and Russia’s typical enterprises in agricultural and grain sector COFCO Corporation and Russian Agricultural Group set a model example through mutual cooperation that will be beneficial to promoting the advancement of agricultural cooperation in Far Eastern region. He reiterated that as China’s largest state-owned grain trader and agri-product processing enterprise COFCO Corporation is Russia’s trustworthy partner and expressed the hope that Russia would strengthen cooperation with COFCO. The purpose of his investigation and research is to obtain in-depth understanding of actual conditions in Far Eastern region, identify issues, summarize experiences, and push for the implementation of consensus reached between China and Russia’s heads of state at St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
COFCO Trading’s Comprehensive Trade Department, which signed the import contract with Russia to purchase soybeans, is responsible for the importation, customs clearance and sale. COFCO Far East Co., Limited is responsible for coordinating the export, loading and shipment. COFCO Corporation Xin Liang Shipping is responsible for the transport. The synergic and efficient dovetailing of domestic and overseas trading and logistics full supply chain execution demonstrates COFCO Trading’s core competitiveness in integrated operation. Meanwhile, it also fully reflects COFCO Corporation’s initiative, responsibility, and achievement as a centrally-administered SOE regarding national grain security and soybean development strategy.
In 2019, COFCO Corporation’s import of Russian soybeans reached 19,000 tonnes, basically accounting for the total amount of Russian soybeans imported via sea freight under China’s general trade items, making COFCO China’s pioneer and main channel to import Russian soybeans.