China says can make up for soybean shortage after U.S. tariff

China National Grain and Oil Information Center said the country is fully capable of coping with the shortage of imported U.S. soybeans following increased tariffs.

Chinese media quoted experts with the center as saying that China’s purchase of the U.S. soybeans, a key crop for American farmers, will be significantly reduced after the Trump administration imposed a 25 percent tariff.

The U.S. move will increase the cost of U.S. soybean imports by 700-800 yuan (about $105-$120)per ton, which is about 300 yuan higher than Brazilian soybeans, said the expert.

As of June 28, China had not placed new purchases for U.S. soybeans for three weeks, and cancelled orders for 615,000 tons in the same period.

According to the expert, Brazil has a bumper harvest of soybeans this year, while soybean planting will also substantially rise in South America next year and Central Asian countries along the “Belt and Road” may also increase soybean cultivation, Chinese website ecns.cn said.

In addition, China can increase domestic soybean production, broaden imports to ensure supply and strengthen research on feed formulas to reduce dependence on soybean meal imports, making it fully able to fill the gap after the loss of U.S. soybeans, it quoted the unnamed expert as saying.

The expert also said as the U.S. increases soybean production and faces declining exports, U.S. farmers are expected to suffer significant losses.

In the past 20 years, 85 percent of the increase in global soybean trade came from China, which will continue to be the main source for the increase of global soybean trade in the future.

Uttara is a correspondent with Indoasiancommodities. You can write to her on uttara.malhotra@indoasiancommodities.in.

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