Milestone for Russia's Zarubino Port as ship with 10,000 tons of corn leaves for China
Published: Feb 06, 2023 08:19 PM
Trucks transport containers at Qianwan Container Terminal of Qingdao Port in east China's Shandong Province, Jan. 27, 2023.(Photo: Xinhua)

Trucks transport containers at Qianwan Container Terminal of Qingdao Port in east China's Shandong Province, Jan. 27, 2023.(Photo: Xinhua)

The first ship loaded with 10,000 tons of Russian corn left Russia's Zarubino Port and will arrive in the Port of Qingdao in East China's Shandong Province within days, the Global Times learned on Monday.

The cargo volume is a historic breakthrough, as grain vessels from Zarubino Port can typically carry 3,000 to 5,000 tons. The change could facilitate the transport of grain from the Russian Far East, where a bottleneck has formed at local ports amid a surge in bilateral grain trade.

Workers with Legendagro Logistics, after several trials, completed the transport of the grain amid extreme cold, according to the WeChat account of Joyvio, a Chinese firm. Legendagro is its subsidiary based in Vladivostok.

The loading was completed under an average temperature of -33 C and took five days. 

The ship is set to arrive at the Port of Qingdao on Tuesday or Wednesday, a company executive surnamed Cao told the Global Times on Monday.

Cao said the loading, completed last week, is experimental in nature as the port currently does not have the capacity to handle the loading and offloading of 10,000-ton grain vessels. 

"But this will be the big trend," Cao said, revealing that his company is building two grain silos at the port.

Zarubino Port has railway and road connections with Hunchun, a border city in Northeast China's Jilin Province. 

The company said that the sailing of the first 10,000-ton grain ship is a milestone and will play a vital role in its goal to double grain trade volume in 2023.

Song Kui, president of the Contemporary China-Russia Regional Economy Research Institute, told the Global Times on Monday that the sailing of the 10,000-ton ship from Zarubino Port marked a significant step in the logistics improvement in the Russian Far East.

Against the backdrop of a surge in China-Russia agricultural trade, the Russian side has realized the gap in logistics infrastructure in the area, Song said. 

The agricultural and food processing sectors are becoming a new growth point in bilateral trade, Song said, noting that China has great demand for Russia's grain products.

In recent years, Russia has been upgrading the Baikal-Amur Mainline, a 4,300-kilometer broad-gauge railway traversing Eastern Siberia and the Far East, and building a depot at Zabaikalsk, which lies opposite to Manzhouli on the Chinese side. Manzhouli is the largest land port between China and Russia.

Bilateral trade in 2022 rose by 34.3 percent year-on-year to a record 1.28 trillion yuan ($190 billion), fueled by a surge in energy trade, Chinese customs data showed in January.

During the January-November period of 2022, trade in agricultural products soared by 36 percent year-on-year to $6 billion, according to Russia's Interfax agency.