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Russian quality too low to sell in China's grain buying spree

CHINA's wheat imports are expected to achieve a seven-year high this season, as the country tries to secure food supplies as part of its domestic economic recovery following the Covid lockdowns

07 September 2020 - 19:00

CHINA's wheat imports are expected to achieve a seven-year high this season, as the country tries to secure food supplies as part of its domestic economic recovery following the Covid lockdowns.

It is good news for shippers like France and Australia, meanwhile, Russia can only supply small amounts, since China bans most Russian wheat over fungus concerns, reports Bloomberg.



Despite the wheat concerns, the two nations have formed closer agricultural ties over the last few years. Russia is trying to convince China to allow imports from its major growing areas.



If allowed, Russia will be able to take a larger share of the global wheat market and increase competition with shippers.



'If Russia comes there in earnest, competition will toughen. Supplies will increase if the list of authorised regions is expanded,' said SovEcon managing director Andrey Sizov Jr.



Russia sells wheat to more than 100 countries thanks to bumper harvests, and is set to reclaim its position as the top shipper this season. However, China and Algeria have remained intangible because Russian wheat hasn't met their requirements.



'The Chinese counterparts authorise a region only after an inspection, which has been impossible to implement amid the pandemic,' said a representative for the agency Yulia Melano.



'Also, some Russian supplies don't meet the requirements of China's flour mills and the quality is unstable,' said Beijing Orient Agribusiness Consultant analyst Ma Wenfeng.



China's wheat imports are forecast to climb 12 per cent to six million tons in the 2020-21 season. France, Canada, and Australia were the biggest suppliers to China last season.


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