China exempts more buyers from import tariffs on US soybeans: sources


The Chinese government released more tax-free quotas to a new batch of crushers for purchasing US-origin soybeans, according to sources familiar with the matter.

These crushers include three companies controlled by international grain trading houses, and one private company.

The new quota was heard applied to US soybeans arriving in China before March 2020.

The Chinese government is giving the option of purchasing US soybeans to more and more crushing companies, a source said, adding that this list can be expanded to every crusher in the future if trade talks progress well. “The market wants cheaper US soybeans,” he added.

Despite the unconfirmed volume of this batch of tax-free quota, sources said China would likely start another round of purchases as a goodwill measure ahead of the next meeting scheduled in November in Chile.

“To purchase 1-2 million tons of soybeans is likely to happen, as the US soybean price is no longer as competitive as Brazilian soybeans, especially for January shipments onwards,” a source close to the matter said.

Even if the US soybean tariffs are lifted, US-origin soybeans may struggle to compete with Brazil-origin soybeans after the new crops from the South American country start getting harvested from January 2020 onwards.

Brazilian 2020 new crop soybeans are being offered 40-50 cents/bu ($15-$18/mt) cheaper than Brazilian 2019 old crop soybeans, sources said. This is likely to make it difficult for US soybeans to compete with Brazilian new crops.

However, as the Chinese government issues more tax-free quotas for soybeans, China may shift parts of its November-January import demand from Brazil to the US, a local crusher said.

However, he viewed the potential downside of this on Brazilian soybean prices to be limited. “Brazilian farmers pretty much sold out their stocks this year. At this moment, they are not in a hurry to sell their Brazilian soybeans at a discount to compete with US soybeans price, unless there is a great harvest of Brazilian soybeans next year, earliest in January,” he said.

Source from : Platts