Aug 28 2013, 5:42pm CDT | by IANS
The floods, which have so far claimed 85 lives and left 105 missing, are the worst to hit the region in more than a decade, and have prompted the closure of six river ports in China's Heilongjiang province.
"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 Tongjiang city, a major trading centre in Heilongjiang.
"August and September used to be boom season for Russian traders purchasing clothes, shoes and household appliances in China, but the floods have meant cancelled 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 and exports of $236 million in 2012, according to Yu.
The port closed 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.
Traders in Fuyuan port, 65 km away from Khabarovsk city in Russia, used to get thousands of visitors from Russia daily, 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 will take time," Chu said.
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