China’s Heilongjiang Province exported a total of 4,784 tons of pork to Russia in 2015, according to an ECNS.cn report.

While that export total appears small, industry leaders view this to be of remarkable significance to China’s animal husbandry sector.

Once the biggest importer of China’s hogs with the highest pork imports in 2000 reaching 200,000 tons, Russia suspended the imports of artiodactyls and animal products from China in September 2004, citing the uncertainty of the outbreaks of animal diseases in China. 

After rounds of talks over the next decade, a roundtable conference at the First China-Russia Expo in July 2014, laid the foundation for the resumption of the pork trade between the two countries. A panel of experts were later sent to Heilongjiang Province to inspect the management systems of pork quality and safety as well as some qualified pork companies in the province. And in August 2015, two companies—Baoquanling Shuanghui Food Co. Ltd. and Wangkui Shuanghui Food Co. Ltd.—were approved to export pork to Russia.

In November 2015, Heilongjiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences completed the whole-genome sequencing of the Min pig. According to Ma Jianzhang, an academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering, the completion of the whole-genome sequencing of the Min pig will significantly contribute to the development of the pig industry and pork exports to Russia.