US soy sector still has great expectations for China: USSEC

By Xie Jun Source:Global Times Published: 2018/11/4 22:38:40

US soybean exporters still have strong expectations for the Chinese market, as they prepare to attend the first ever China International Import Expo (CIIE), which kicks off on Monday, a top representative of the US Soybean Export Council (USSEC) said on Saturday.

The USSEC will attend CIIE as an exhibitor, to showcase the US soybean industry's process of serving Chinese agricultural economy in the past 36 years through the mutually beneficial partnership" between China and the US' soybean industry, said Zhang Xiaoping, chief representative of the greater China area for the USSEC.

"We want to display (through our participation in the CIIE) our determination to continue to contribute to China's sustainable grain security and food security," Zhang told the Global Times via email.

According to Zhang, the USSEC is attending the CIIE on behalf of the US soybean industry, representing industrial organizations like the American Soybean Association as well as the United Soybean Board.

The US soybean industrys efforts to cling to the Chinese market come amid an intensifying trade spat between the world's tao largest economies .

China announced plans to levy a 25 percent tax increase on US soybean imports (among other imports) on July 6, in response to a $50 billion import tax hiked the US imposed on Chinese goods earlier.

According to Zhang, China-US soybean trade is facing a very difficult situation because of the tariff increase.

"Since the tariff increase was implemented in July, Chinese companies have been purchasing soybeans at the highest price in the world, as they need to spend more to buy soybeans from other sources, while US farmers are selling soybeans at the lowest price," he disclosed.

China has taken some measures to offset the negative influence of declining soybean imports from the US. In October, the China Feed Industry Association released two benchmarks that lowered the proportion of albumen in pig and chicken feed, which in turn lowered use of soybean meal, processed from soybeans.

But Zhang said that the soybean trade links have not been entirely cut between China and the US as there were still about 1 million tons of soybeans export sales in the current marketing year starting from September 1.

"Despite the tariff measures and the uncertainty of future policies, the US soybean industry still has strong expectations for the Chinese market. We hope that China and US can return to their normal trade status as soon as possible," he said.

The Global Times noted that there is a company based in Central China's Henan Province, which is also attending this CIIE, that is planning to purchase about 700,000 tons of soybeans in the first half of 2019. But the company declined to disclose detailed purchasing plans when contacted by the Global Times recently.

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