November 8, 2004



Argentina: Soyoil Trade Won't Be Hurt By China's New Rules


Argentina's soyoil exports to China won't be hurt by Beijing's new standards for imported soyoil, Argentina's ambassador to China told Dow Jones Newswires Friday.


"We don't expect (the new standards) to have an impact on trade. We have the assurance that trade won't be disrupted," Ambassador Juan Carlos Morelli said.


Morelli said experts from both sides have been meeting in Buenos Aires since Monday to discuss the new standards and could reach a concensus on them as early as next week.


In July, China promulgated new regulations for edible oil requiring that crude soyoil meets quality standards similar to those for refined soyoil, effective Oct. 1.


Analysts have said some traders rushed to import soyoil before the tougher standards went into effect.


In the first nine months of this year, China imported 2,044,025 tons of soyoil, up 71% from the same period last year, according to customs data.


Of that amount, imports from Argentina totaled 1,354,663 tons, up 65%, while imports from Brazil amounted to 689,088 tons, up 144%.


Analysts at the China National Grain and Oils Information Center, a research unit affiliated with the State Grain Bureau, said the new standards will have an impact on the industry.


The center estimates that soyoil imports in the 2004-05 marketing year will slow to 2 million tons from 2.72 million tons in 2003-04.


Morelli said he met with Li Changjiang, the head of China's State Administration for Quality Supervision and Inspection and Quarantine, or AQSIQ, Thursday to discuss the new standards.


He said Argentina and China are exchanging information on the standards.


"The Argentine industry has some concerns because of the unnecessary burden, and we are trying to clarify some wording of the standards," he said.

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