U.S. soybean exports will undergo a new procedure to meet new phytosanitary requirements for shipping to China.
The U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service says the new procedure applies to both bulk and container shipments of raw and unprocessed American soybeans to China.
APHIS says compliance with the new rules will be necessary to maintain uninterrupted shipments to China. Greg Ibach , USDA Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, issued a statement saying that the agency worked closely with China and U.S. soybean industry representatives in coming up with an acceptable procedure.
Earlier this year, China said the U.S. soybean shipments that were coming into the country contained too much foreign material in each load, including dirt and weed seeds.
Chinese officials said the foreign material exceeded their standards and some of the weed seeds were of possible quarantine concern.
Under the new procedure, APHIS will now notify China of any shipments that exceed one percent foreign material.
Shipments with impurity levels below a new standard of 1 percent, half the current level, will receive priority for shipment, while soybeans above it may be held back for more cleaning, U.S. Department of Agriculture spokesman William Wepsala said.
China is the world’s biggest soybean importer and purchases have climbed to a record as an expansion in large-scale livestock farming and a shortage of protein-rich feed grains boosts soymeal consumption. The Asian nation is by far the biggest destination for U.S. soybean exports, with sales of $14.2 billion of the oilseed in 2016, more than one-third of the value of the crop.
The new rules mean “the U.S. is going to lose some business,” said Charlie Sernatinger, global head of grain futures for ED&F Man Capital Markets in Chicago. American shippers will have to pay a premium for supplies that meet the higher standards, he said. “There are no such certificates required for Brazil beans.”
China’s soybean imports totaled 77.3 million metric tons between January and October, according to customs data. Purchases from Brazil were 46 million tons in the period and the U.S. accounted for 22 million tons.
China has assured the U.S. that all shipments will be allowed to continue while America develops new farm-to-export procedures to meet the new requirements.
Source: Ingredient and Agtoday