A new agreement has been reached between Russia and China to build a new grain hub on the border of the two countries, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported.

Involving an investment of 15bn RUB (US$159M), the Grain Terminal Nizhneleninskoye-Tongjiang will be located between Vladivostok in Russia’s far east and China’s northeastern province of Heilongjiang, the 12 September report said.

The agreement was signed between Chinese and Russian officials on 11 September during the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostock along with other deals aimed at improving the logistics of transporting Russian grain to China, the SCMP wrote.

The New Land Grain Corridor – a group of companies managing the development of grain production and infrastructure in Russia’s Ural Mountains, Siberia and the far east – will work with the state-backed China Chengtong International Investment to create a logistics hub at the border, according to the report.

“This is a continuation of the current agreement between the parties on strategic cooperation and expansion of mutual trade, as well as the next step in the implementation of the New Russia-China Land Grain Corridor programme,” an official forum statement said.

The move was made against a backdrop of Beijing making food security for its 1.4bn population a priority, the SCMP wrote.

Other agreements included a contract between the Trans-Baikal Grain Terminal and China’s Guangdong BestCon Intelligent Equipment firm to create a specialised land grain fleet in Russia, the report said. This could serve as an alternative to sea routes.

As part of the contract, 22,000 specialised grain containers will be made to transport up to 600,000 tonnes of grain, with a maximum storage capacity of up to 8M tonnes/year, according to the report.

In addition, Russia’s EPT Production and Export Company, which is also part of the New Land Grain Corridor Group, finalised two contracts for the production and supply of grains, legumes and oilseeds with the Chinese trading company Noble Home and the Chinese transport and logistics company Trans Eurasia (Tianjin) International Logistics.

The deals show how bilateral economic cooperation continues to improve between the neighbours, particularly as tensions with the West continue to disrupt supply chains and restrict trade, according to the SCMP report.

Bilateral energy trade has continued despite the West imposing sanctions on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

China-Russian trade value increased by 32% compared to the previous year to US$155.1bn in the first eight months of this year, according to customs data.

While most of that was from traditional oil and natural gas sectors, imports of Russian agricultural products, such as soyabeans and rapeseed oil, had also rapidly increased, the report said.

The Eastern Economic Forum, which started on 10 September, was attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese Vice-Premier Zhang Guoqing and a number of business representatives.