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7-Business: Shipment of US soy reached China



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TITLE:  New-crop US soybeans arrive in China - US industry
SOURCE: Reuters
DATE:   November 8, 2001

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New-crop US soybeans arrive in China - US industry

WASHINGTON - The first shipment of new-crop soybeans from the United States 
has arrived at a northern Chinese port and is facing no delays, a U.S. 
industry official said he was informed by the U.S. Agriculture Department . 
The soybeans arrived on a 50,000-tonne vessel at the port of Yantai, said 
Kim Nill, technical issues director for the American Soybean Association in 
St. Louis, Mo. U.S. soybean shipments to China had been disrupted over 
problems governing genetically modified organisms and over fears that any 
U.S. soybeans might face unusual inspection and quarantine delays once 
arriving.

But with this shipment, Nill said the soybean trade problem with China 
appears to be resolved. The apparent breakthrough occurred just days before 
China is scheduled to have its membership application to the World Trade 
Organization approved. "This is a happy day," Nill said of China's 
treatment of the U.S. soybean shipment. He said this cargo was viewed as a 
"litmus test" of China's intentions to resume buying U.S. soybeans. 
Indications are that "it's business as usual" once again with China, Nill 
added.

On Oct. 23, an American Soybean Association official said the trade 
dispute, which had the potential of ruining $1 billion in U.S. soybean 
sales to China, was resolved. U.S. government officials that same day 
expressed optimism, but said China still had to provide more details on how 
it would actually handle soybean imports. Nearly 70 percent of U.S. 
soybeans come from genetically modified seeds.

In June, China imposed new laws governing bio-engineered food imports. But 
it failed to provide regulations for enforcing those laws. And more 
recently, South American soybean shipments were facing unusual inspection 
delays once arriving at Chinese ports.

Both of these developments led to an interruption in U.S. soybean sales to 
China just as the new U.S. crop was being harvested, which typically is a 
heavy buying period for China. Last month, U.S. officials had implied China 
was erecting trade barriers to U.S. soybeans to protect its domestic 
farmers.



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