The Russian national agricultural watchdog said on Friday, Feb.4, that China would accept wheat and barley imports from all regions of Russia.

Agreements were struck as a partial result during President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Beijing. As a result, certain parts of Russia can export cereal and grain through the critical Black Sea export route.

Earlier, China had restricted imports of Russian grain due to phytosanitary concerns.

Bloomberg reported Andrey Sizov, head of consultant SovEcon, said, “Russian grain potentially could win some market share from the west in Chinese markets so that it could look beneficial for politicians in both countries.”

Russian wheat exports have increased dramatically during the last decade, capturing market share in key European and American countries.

Moscow has been attempting for years to expand its cereal trade with China. But, this time, Russia’s new grain export success might put other suppliers like France in competition.

China has emerged as an important export destination for French wheat in the last two years. Its importance has expanded this year as the European Union’s top wheat exporter has lost market share in Algeria.

China’s wheat purchases have doubled in just a few years, making it the world’s fourth-largest importer. The grain has been popular in animal feed, and rising incomes are driving up demand for bread, noodles, and dumplings in the region.

The move to allow other Russian wheat into the country could be a further setback for European Union sales, which have already begun to decrease in Algeria after the North African country relaxed its standards to allow imports of Black Sea grain.

According to the Russian watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor, the two countries are still working on future trade opportunities. According to the proposal, in 2022, Russia will also sell peas to China.

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