6-Regulation: China rule on GMO soy may not come this week
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- Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2001 17:55:01 +0100
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-------------------------------- GENET-news --------------------------------
TITLE: China rule on GMO soy may not come this week
SOURCE: Reuters, by Nao Nakanishi
DATE: November 28, 2001
------------------ archive: http://www.gene.ch/genet.html ------------------
UPDATE - China rule on GMO soy may not come this week
SINGAPORE - Beijing is likely to release long-awaited details of China's
new rules on genetically modified organisms, not perhaps this week as some
market participants had expected but in the near future, traders said
yesterday. But the details themselves might not unleash large demand for
U.S. soybeans - 70 percent of which are genetically modified - as weak
domestic prices for soy complex had squeezed crushing margins to almost
nothing, they said. China is also about to fling open the door for soyoil
imports of possibly as much as 2.52 million tonnes next year as it joins
the World Trade Organisation (WTO), they said.
After almost six months of waiting and repeated disappointment, traders in
China, Hong Kong and Singapore were cool to rumours Beijing would announce
implementation details of the GMO regulations by the end of this week.
"Uncertainties are still there. But imports continue as crushers are
buying...I don't think the uncertainties have created any bottleneck,
though the pace is still slow," a trader in Shanghai said, referring to
imports. "Stocks are still very high. We still have arrivals and
Heilongjiang beans. By early next year, there should be no (supply)
problems." In Beijing, officials of the Agriculture Ministry told Reuters
it would not take long to release the details, but did not elaborate.
Customs data last week showed that a staggering 897,724 tonnes of soybeans,
mostly from Argentina and Brazil, arrived in China in October. This was
down sharply from 1.6 million tonnes in September but well above 571,421
tonnes in October 2000. An analyst at the State Cereals Information Centre
told Reuters China's port stocks of foreign beans stood still as high as
one million tonnes. Another 500,000 to 600,000 tonnes were arriving this
month, he said.
Traders agreed Beijing would never halt imports of soybeans as the country
had an obvious deficit of the oilseed. Nor had they heard of difficulties
in discharging or moving U.S. cargoes that arrived this month. Yet they
said Chinese imports in the year 2001/2002, which began in October, would
not exceed last year's 11.17 million tonnes as initially expected. They
might also fall short, although nobody was willing to pin down the number.
Imports of soy oil, even if not quite as much as 2.52 million tonnes, would
hit crushers in China which have enjoyed government protection and
multiplied in the past few years, they said. In theory, if China imported
2.50 million tonnes of soyoil, it could kill soy imports of nearly 14
million tonnes, were it not for demand for soymeal, they said.
Some traders also noted Beijing would try to restrict soy imports by
traders or speculators, who were often behind large swings in domestic soy
prices. "Crushers will continue to import. The government will not stop
their cargoes from coming into China," another trader in Shanghai said.
"But traders and importers might have to slow down their step. The total
quantity would then come down." The trader added quarantines authorities
now demanded now detailed informations on the destination of the imported
cargoes. (Additional reporting from Niu Shuping in Beijing).
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