Chinese crushers seek another 1-2m mt of US soybeans after 3rd tariff exemption

30 Sep 2019 | Andy Allan

Chinese authorities gave seven companies a third exemption from paying stiff import taxes on buying US soybeans on Monday, three market sources said, raising the prospect that another 1-2 million mt could be contracted this week.

The well-placed sources confirmed that five privately-owned crushers and two state-owned companies received permission on Monday to import an undisclosed volume of soybeans from US suppliers without having to pay a 30% levy.

The total volume is thought to be in the range of 1-2 million mt, although none of the sources would confirm the exact figure.

"[The volume] is said to be similar to the last round," one soybean trader from an international trading house told Agricensus.

"This is a new quota," said a soybean broker who works directly with the Chinese market.

Several sources confirmed that Chinese buyers were seeking offers from US trading houses on Monday for November and December shipments following the exemption.

In the past two rounds of quotas, Chinese crushers are thought to have bought 2-3 million mt of soybeans, and in the last round (since mid-September) an estimated 1-1.5 million mt was said to have been contracted for Q4 shipment.

Since December 1, China has pledged to buy 20 million mt of soybeans in a bid to smooth negotiations during a trade war with the US.

Of that total Chinese companies have either imported or contracted at least 16.5 million mt, according to USDA data.

Market sources claim that figure is as high as 18 million mt.