NE floods affect Sino-Russia border trade

NE floods affect Sino-Russia border trade
# 28 August 2013 19:41 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. The recent floods and rainstorms in China's northeast regions have hit trade with Russia, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

The floods, which have so far claimed 85 lives and left 105 missing, are the worst floods to hit the region in more than a decade, and have prompted the closure of six river ports in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province.

As a result, many who trade with Russia have no choice but to let their businesses stand idle.

"There has been barely any business since the closure of ports. I have been on a daily losses of around a hundred dollars for nearly a month,"said Qiang Zhanjun, a wholesaler at Tongxin market in the City of Tongjiang, a major trading center in Heilongjiang Province.

Qiang has a stockpile worth 300,000 yuan and, "..can barely make ends meet."

"August and September used to be boom season for Russian traders purchasing clothes, shoes and household appliances in China, but the floods have meant canceled contracts," said Yu Xueping, chief of Tongjiang Customs.

Tongjiang, one of the most important river ports for frontier trade with Russia, witnessed an import volume of 25 million dollars and exports of 236 million dollars in 2012, according to Yu.

The port closed on Aug. 8 due to rising water levels on the Heilongjiang River, and the impact of the flood is expected to last till the end of September.

Imports may decline 70 percent when compared with the same period last year, Yu said, adding that tourism and engineering projects had also been impacted.

Traders in Fuyuan port, 65 km away from the city of Khabarovsk in Russia are used to thousands of daily visitors from Russia, but now are feeling the pinch.

Teng runs a business selling digital products and kitchen utensils. She said the floods and closure of Fuyuan port meant she was "losing a mink coat every three days."

Chu Yinting, a general manger of Tongxin Trade Co.,Ltd, said the ports in Russia also suffered from the floods.

"Even if the ports reopen in September, the resumption of trade takes time,"Chu said.