Russian beer goes east as Moscow brewers double exports to China in 2018

FILE PHOTO: Chinese beer drinkers © AFP / Goh Chai Hih / Free

Malt beer produced in the Russian capital has apparently gained popularity among the country’s eastern neighbors, becoming the most popular export from Moscow to China. Shipments reportedly surged nearly 93 percent last year.

“The Moscow food industry’s most popular product exported to China in 2018 was malt beer in 10-liter jugs or smaller, and its export amounted to $14.6 million, which is 92.9 percent more than in 2017,” the Moscow Department of Investment and Industrial Policy revealed to TASS on Friday. 

China actually has domestically produced brands like Tsingtao and Snow beer, with the latter considered the most popular beer in the world. It does not mean, however, that it’s known around the globe and popular among beer lovers. Reviewers on RateBeer.com gave Snow beer an average rating of 1.75 out of 5. Tsingtao is not much better, as users gave it 2.04 points. 

Apart from beer, Russia’s Chinese trading partners also buy grain residues, sales of which increased by more than 230 percent last year. Moscow’s industrial enterprises also sold wheat flour to China, as well as soybeans, pine nuts and waffles – although these sales decreased in 2018.

The total food exports from Moscow to China amounted to $30 million, which is nine percent more than it was in 2017.
Moscow’s large- and mid-size enterprises actively work with China, but bilateral cooperation may be further increased. Meat-product manufacturers are seeking to get direct access to the Chinese market to enable direct supplies, which they currently lack.

China remains Russia’s number one trade partner, with the trade turnover significantly growing over recent years. Overall volume of trade between Russia and China reached an all-time high in January, surpassing $107 billion just one month after it hit the previous record of $100 billion.

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