June 28, 2010
Argentina has reached an agreement with China to end the freeze on Argentine soyoil imports, but given the cumbersome negotiation process, some Argentine traders are waiting for an official confirmation from Beijing.
"Thanks to the talks the Argentine government has been holding with China, soyoil exports to China have been normalised," said Argentina's agriculture ministry spokesman Pablo DÃas.
Last year, Argentina imposed anti-dumping measures on some Chinese manufactured goods, prompting China, the world's largest buyer of soyoil, to halt shipments from Argentina this past March and impose new import standards on soyoil.
The spat threatened a key hard currency earner for Argentina, the leading global exporter of soyoil, and forced Argentine exporters to look for new markets.
On Friday (Jun 25), traders said they were waiting for an official announcement from Beijing. Argentina exported 1.84 million tonnes of soyoil to China last year, bringing in US$1.4 billion and accounting for 77% of Chinese soyoil imports.
Several shipments from Argentina to China that had been scheduled for April and other months were delayed but not cancelled while the two countries tried to reach a solution.
"It's odd that with Argentine soyoil US$40-50 cheaper than other countries, not a single Chinese importer is asking us to load the contracts that we had already agreed upon," another trader said.
Argentina is the No. 3 global exporter of soy and the top supplier of soymeal and soyoil. The USDA estimates the Argentine 2009/2010 soy crop to reach a record 54 million tonnes.