Cherkizovo sends it first poultry shipment to China
Cherkizovo, the largest poultry producer in Russia, has sent its first shipment of chicken feet to China via railway refrigerator containers, reducing delivery time from 45 to 15 days. Cherkizovo plans to dispatch, on average, three trains per month to China from June onwards and the number of containers in each shipment is expected to grow from 30 to 41.
China is the primary sales market for Cherkizovo, and the company aims to use trains as an alternative to sea transportation, allowing it to deliver products directly to customers. The company has not disclosed any information about the delivery costs, but it is typically more expensive than sea transportation.
Meanwhile, Russian poultry farmers are expressing concerns about the rising poultry exports from China to Russia, which may drive down prices and negatively impact the industry’s investment attractiveness.
Did South Africa supply Russia Arms?
Investors in South Africa have been concerned about various issues such as frequent power outages, insufficient laws regarding terrorism financing, political instability leading up to next year’s elections, and now, geopolitical tensions. The latest worry stems from US Ambassador Reuben Brigety’s accusation that South Africa has been supplying weapons to Russia, intensifying tensions between the two countries.
This accusation is linked to South Africa’s closer relationship with the BRICS economic bloc and its refusal to support the US stance on Russia’s conflict with Ukraine.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has responded by stating that his government is investigating the claim and expressing disappointment with Brigety’s remarks. The Rand has also reached a new record low against the dollar on Friday.
Russia thanks Brazil for their understanding of the situation
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov expressed his appreciation for Brazil’s efforts to end the conflict in Ukraine, which has angered both Kyiv and the West. Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has suggested the formation of a club of nations, including Brazil and China, to mediate peace in Ukraine. Lavrov thanked Brazil for their understanding of the situation and their efforts to find ways to resolve it. However, Lula’s recent comments, blaming Ukraine for Russia’s invasion, are contrary to the views of the EU, US, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Moreover, any talk of a ceasefire is seen as an opportunity for Russia to reorganize its forces for a new offensive. The Brazilian foreign minister, Mauro Vieira, called for an immediate ceasefire and stated that sanctions against Russia have negative impacts on the global economy, particularly developing nations. Meanwhile, the White House rebuked Brazil for meeting Lavrov and Vladimir Putin in person while only speaking to Ukrainian officials by phone.
Is Brazil selling out to China?
Brazil’s Agriculture Minister, Carlos Favaro, has proposed fresh investment from Chinese grains trader COFCO in Brazilian railways, waterways, and farmland restoration during a meeting in Beijing. COFCO has already invested in Brazil’s top soybean port, Santos, and is expanding its export terminal capacity to 14 million tonnes to meet China’s growing demand for soybeans. Favaro noted that COFCO was instrumental in opening up China’s corn market to Brazilian supplies and has purchased all 1.5 million tonnes of corn shipped to China so far.
During Favaro’s visit, China’s customs authority approved four new Brazilian meat plants for export, and an agreement to enable electronic certification of meat export facilities will be signed when Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva travels to Beijing.
The minister also plans to discuss gene editing with state-owned ChemChina’s Syngenta laboratories.
India can’t get enough Russian oil
According to Indian state-controlled lender Bank of Baroda, India’s imports of Russian oil increased tenfold last year, resulting in savings of approximately $5bn as it boosted crude purchases from Moscow.
Despite Western countries reducing their imports of energy from Russia following its invasion of Ukraine, India’s imports of Russian oil now make up almost 20% of the country’s annual crude imports. India has defended its oil purchases, stating that it relies on energy imports and that millions of its citizens live in poverty, making it unable to pay higher prices.
Some analysts expect Russia to continue offering cheap oil to Asia’s biggest energy importers, sustaining the steep discounts.
Is China collaborating with Russian military?
During a meeting of foreign ministers from Europe and the Indo-Pacific region in Sweden, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi expressed his concern about the increasing military collaboration between China and Russia in Asia.
Hayashi stated that the security situation in Europe and the Indo-Pacific region could not be separated since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had shaken the foundation of the international order.
He warned that China was attempting to change the status quo in the East and South China Seas through force, and increasing its military activities around Taiwan.
Hayashi also noted that North Korea was escalating provocations by conducting ballistic missile launches.
He accused China and Russia of strengthening their military collaboration by conducting joint naval exercises and bomber flights around Japan.
The meeting excluded China, and the EU foreign policy chief dismissed the notion that China’s absence hindered discussions about the Indo-Pacific region.
Is a new world trade currency on the cards?
If the BRICS used only their currency for international trade, it could lead to de-dollarization. A BRICS-issued currency could achieve a level of self-sufficiency in international trade that has eluded other currency unions.
The BRICS nations’ strong economic standing in their respective regions could encourage other countries to use the BRICS currency, leading to de-dollarization.