November 25, 2003



US Soybean Cargo Tests Positive For Fungal Disease in China


A cargo of U.S. soybeans was found to be infected with a fungal disease, according to China's official Xinhua News Agency, citing the Shenzhen Bureau of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.


A cargo of 60,500 metric tons of U.S. soybeans was infected with phytophthora root rot, according to the quarantine authorities of Shenzhen in southern China, Xinhua said.


It is also the first time that imported U.S. soybeans tested positive for this disease, according to Xinhua.


Traders in China were not surprised at the news, however, because of the background of a textile trade tiff between China and the U.S.


"It is an old trick. China is sending a signal to U.S. that it could put billions of dollars of soybean business at stake," said an analyst from a local brokerage house in Beijing late Tuesday, responding to the Xinhua story.


China's soybean imports in the 2003-04 marketing year (October-September) are forecast to reach a record 22.00 million tons, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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