September 3, 2003

 

 

US Plans to Appeal to WTO against China's Soybean Import Controls

 

On August 25, US Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman announced its intentions to make an appeal with the WTO against China's control on soybean trade, unless China will remove the ban on soybean imports.

 

It is said that China's ban will bring a loss of USD 1 billion for the soybean industry in US. However, Veneman said that the outlook for the appeal remains cloudy due to China's statement of contamination concerns in imported soybeans.

 

AQSIQ, China's quarantine authority, recently informed the embassies of US, Brazil and Argentina in Beijing that 6 global trading houses that ship soybeans from the three countries wouldn't be qualified to export soybeans to China.

 

These companies were identified as Bunge Ltd., the world's biggest oilseed crusher, Cargill Inc., Louis Dreyfus et Cie, and Alfred C. Toepfer etc.

 

It is noted that these 6 companies supplies most of soybeans to China in recent years. As soon as the ban takes into effect, only 3 foreign companies continue to export soybeans to China.

 

Some foreign medias said that the quality issue is only an excuse of the Chinese government to try to curb flooding soybean imports.

 

Foreign companies have started to set up large-scale oil-crushing plants since the late 1990s. So far, a number of international grain & oilseed giants such as ADM, Cargill Inc., Nissin and Charoen Pokphand Group etc. have settled in China.