China may open doors for soyabean from India

Amiti Sen New Delhi | Updated on November 09, 2018 Published on November 09, 2018

US-China trade turmoil prompts Beijing to look at other suppliers

China is likely to open its doors to soyabean from India after allowing the import of non-basmati rice and raw sugar to address the worsening trade imbalance between the two countries, according to senior government officials.

“With China no longer willing to purchase soyabean from the US due to the on-going trade discord between the two, there is a big opportunity for Indian soyabean in the Chinese market. Senior trade officials from both countries discussed the steps to start imports from India during a recent meeting in Shanghai,” an official told BusinessLine.

Soyabean is one of the items on which China imposed retaliatory duties of 25 per cent against the US in response to similar levies imposed by the Trump administration on Chinese products.

“China, which buys more than half of the world’s soyabean produce, is importing huge quantities from Brazil to replace what it sourced from the US. Once it gives clearance to Indian exporters, it can start buying from India too,” the official said.

China had already cut import tariffs on soyabean and soyabean meals from Bangladesh, India, Laos, South Korea and Sri Lanka in July to prepare for more imports from these countries following its reduced purchases from the US.

“Earlier, Beijing had quality issues with Indian soyabean but several steps have been taken in India to ensure compliance with globally accepted norms. Hopefully, quality won’t be an issue now,” the official said.

Quality inspectors from China are soon expected to visit India to inspect facilities.

Beijing had imposed a ban on import of soyabean meals from India in 2012 over sanitary and phytosanitary issues. India produces 10-11 million tonnes of soyabean annually. India’s total soyabean meal exports jumped to 2 mt for oil year 2016-17 (October-September) from 320,000 tonnes the previous year.

China has already started importing non-basmati rice from India and has placed orders for raw sugar, which will be shipped early next year. These steps are expected to help narrow the trade gap between India and China, which crossed $160 billion last year.

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Published on November 09, 2018
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