China buys 1M tonnes of US soyabeans

Chinese companies have purchased more than 1M tonnes of US soyabeans after the government issued waivers for retaliatory-tariff free imports, Bloomberg reported on 1 October.

Beijing officials also awarded waivers for another 2M tonnes in purchases, in addition to the 2M to 3M tonnes in waivers awarded the week prior.

The waivers were a goodwill gesture ahead of high-level trade talks scheduled for early October, Reuters quoted sources as saying.

Ahead of deputy-level talks on 19 September, privately-run Chinese firms bought at least 10 cargoes of US soyabeans on 12 September, Reuters said. Following the talks, importers bought more than 20 boatloads.

The deals were among the largest by private Chinese importers since Beijing raised import tariffs by 25% on US soyabeans in July 2018 in retaliation against US duties imposed on Chinese goods, World Grain wrote.

The two countries have been locked in a trade dispute since last year, with the USA accusing China of discriminatory policies relating to technology and intellectual property. Since then, the two countries have imposed billions of dollars worth of tariffs on each other’s goods.

US Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has criticised China for falling short of the 20M tonnes of soyabeans it says Beijing pledged to buy since December, when the two countries struck a temporary truce.

A source told the news agency that China would meet the commitment and had already purchased 14M tonnes.

“With the new waivers, that figure would be 20M tonnes, about the volume China committed to buy from the USA”, the source said. “China might buy more if trade talks in October go well.”