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Russia was planning to export grain it had stolen from Ukraine to China, according to claims by Ukraine’s National Resistance Center (NRC) reported by World Grain.

According to the NRC’s claims, Russia was using software tools that automated the process of collecting and analysing information on agricultural products, which could then be exported outside the Moscow-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).

“The introduction of these programmes will allow it to expand the geography of looted exports, in particular to China,” the NRC was quoted as saying in the 10 July report.

The NRC alleged on 8 July that Russia was actively exporting stolen grain from Ukraine’s occupied territories to Syria and Turkey claiming it was from its own harvest, World Grain wrote.

In June, the Group of Seven (G7) nations, which represents the world’s most economically advanced democracies, proposed tackling suspected theft of Ukraine’s grain using chemical identification of grain origin, the report said.

The UK’s minister of state for Food, Farming and Fisheries Mark Spencer told an International Grains Council (IGC) conference in London on 12 June that Britain was leading on the project, and that G7 countries were also working closely with Ukraine, World Grain wrote.

One of the world’s largest exporters of wheat, corn and sunflower oil, Ukraine has consistently accused Russia of stealing its grain since Russia’s invasion last year, according to the report. Russia has denied the allegations.

Against this backdrop, around a quarter of all grain and oilseeds transported under the Black Sea Grain Initiative (BSGI) was shipped to China, according to a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) report quoting data by the United Nations (UN)’s Joint Coordination Centre.

The volumes made China the single largest recipient of food and feed commodities under the BSGI, the 23 June China: Black Sea Grain Initiative shipments benefit PRC report said.

At the time of the Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report, approximately 32.1M tonnes grains and vegetable oils had been shipped to world markets under the deal, which allows for commercial food and fertiliser exports from three eligible Ukrainian ports.

Out of the total volume, more than 7M tonnes were shipped to China, including 5.6M tonnes of corn, 1.8M tonnes of sunflowerseed meal, 370,000 tonnes of sunflower oil, and 340,000 tonnes of barley.

However, the USDA pointed out that – as of 20 June – China had not been listed as the recipient of any of the 8.8M tonnes of wheat, 802,000 tonnes of soyabeans, 985,000 tonnes of rapeseed, or several other commodities shipped to global markets.