ASTANA – Kazakhstan dispatched its first 1,300-ton shipment of grain from Almaty to Jinan, China, on a new freight container train on September 3, according to an announcement made during a meeting between Kazakh Agriculture Minister Yerbol Karashukeyev and Communist Party Secretary of Shandong Province, Lin Wu. The ministry’s press service reported the news.
This event also marked the inauguration of a new Shandong forming center at the Burundai station in Almaty.
Last year, Shandong recorded a trade turnover of $2 billion with Kazakhstan, ranking it fourth in terms of trade volume with the country, after the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), Beijing, and Gansu Province.
Karashukeyev expressed confidence in the growth potential, stating that Kazakhstan is poised to offer a broad array of high-quality agricultural products. The country aims to increase its grain exports to one million tons annually and to supply chilled meat products.
The meeting concluded with the signing of a memorandum between the Food Corporation and Binzhou Zhongyu Foods, outlining plans to export 200,000 tons of domestic grain to China.
Karashukeyev also discussed a draft Comprehensive Plan prepared by the ministry earlier this year. The plan focuses on developing breeding programs and primary seed production for crops, aiming to create competitive, high-yield, next-generation crop varieties.
To foster academic mobility, scientific internships, and research collaborations, a second memorandum was signed between the Kazakh AgroTechnical Research University and the Shandong Academy of Agricultural Science to facilitate joint research in seed production.
The minister extended an invitation to Chinese businesspeople to establish joint processing enterprises in Kazakhstan, highlighting the country’s emphasis on agricultural product processing.
Trade data revealed that in the first half of 2023, the agricultural product turnover between Kazakhstan and China reached $578.5 million— a 72.7% increase compared to the same period in the previous year.
Kazakhstan’s primary exports to China include grain crops and various types of oil, while it imports vegetables and nuts from China.