State-run Ukraine firm GPZKU said on Tuesday it had shipped the first ever parcel of Ukrainian-origin barley to the Chinese domestic market after the former Soviet republic met all export requirements.

GPZKU’s deputy CEO, Robert Brovdi, said in a statement that 52 containers with 1,500 tonnes of barley had left Ukraine on Feb 28.

Ukraine, a leading producer and exporter of wheat, maize and barley, had already obtained the right to export maize, barley and soybeans to China.

GPZKU last month said it had exported around 300,000 tonnes of maize to the Chinese market under a $3 billion export deal signed in 2012.

The first shipment of 70,000 tonnes of Ukrainian maize went to the Chinese market last November.