September 2, 2003



China Receives 12 Cargoes of Imported Soybeans Aug 21-31; Soybean Imports in September Will Likely to Slow Down


About 12 cargoes of imported soybeans arrived at Chinese ports between Aug. 21 and Aug. 31, Chinese traders monitoring imports said Tuesday.


"About 12 cargoes of soybeans have arrived at the ports in China in the last eleven days of August, significantly lower than the (quantity in the) same period of July," said a trader from a Hong Kong-based oilseeds company.


In the first 20 days of August, China received about 26 cargoes or 1.5 million tons of soybeans, added the traders.


The total quantity of soybeans China imported in August is estimated to be around 2.20 million metric tons, traders said Tuesday. In July 2003, China imported 2.12 million tons of soybeans according to data from the customs office.


However, soybean imports in September will likely slow down, traders said.


"Soybean imports in September will be lower than in August and July, especially in the last ten days, as the current interim GMO import rules are to expire Sept. 20. Most of the cargoes are expected to arrive in early and mid September," a trader from China National Cereals Oils and Foodstuff Import & Export Corp. said Tuesday.


But China's Ministry of Agriculture is likely to issue new interim GMO safety certificates soon for soybean imports arriving after Sept. 20, traders said.


"It could be issued this week, or early next week. Foreign suppliers including those on the black list will also be among the recipients," said the first trader from the Hong Kong-based oilseeds company.


In early August, China's quarantine authority was reported to have banned six international commodity trading houses from importing soybeans into China.


But officials from China General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine never confirmed the ban.


In the marketing year from Oct. 2002 to Sept. 2003, China's soybean imports are forecast to reach 18.20 million ton, according to estimates by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, released in August. USDA will revise the estimates Sept. 11.