China has replaced Turkey from as the number one importer of Russian food products, and Beijing is set to maintain this position.
In the first nine months of 2016, 10.8 percent of all Russia's exported edibles have gone to the People's Republic of China, according to data from the Federal Customs Service.
Since January, Beijing has purchased more than $1.13 billion worth of food from Russia – 22.1 percent more than during the same period of 2015, the RBC news site reported. According to REC, frozen fish makes up more than 60 percent of the exports. The second largest food groups are soy (8.4 percent), sunflower oil (7.9 percent), and soybean oil (4.1 percent).
China is likely to maintain its position as the top food importer in the future. At the beginning of this month, several major food companies – including bakery Stoilenskaya Niva, Mikoyanovsky Meat Processing Plant, and beverage producer Aqualife – reached a tentative agreement to supply China with more than $110 million worth of foodstuffs, according the REC.
Chinese food imports from Russia are also growing more diverse. In the first nine months of 2016, China purchased more than 12 thousand tons of chocolate for $38.4 million – over four times more than last year. Chinese imports of Russian fruit and vegetable juices have also grown three times greater, reaching a total value of $1.3 million.
The greatest growth was recorded in Russian ice cream exports: so far this year, China has imported $4.2 million worth of Russian ice cream, five times more than last year.
China's growing middle class account for this rapid growth.