China expects its US agricultural imports to fall sharply

China expects its US agricultural imports to fall sharply

American farms
Workers at a farm in the US. (AFP/Sandy Huffaker) 

BEIJING: China's imports of US agricultural products will fall sharply once Beijing implements retaliatory trade measures and the country is able to cover its demand for cooking oil and animal feed, vice agriculture minister Han Jun said on Friday (Aug 10).

The trade dispute will have a limited impact on China's agriculture sector, but hit its US counterparts harder, Han Jun was quoted by state radio as saying.

"Relevant departments are fully prepared after meticulous studies and China is fully capable of ensuring domestic demand for cooking oil and protein-based animal feed be covered."

One solution is to boost imports from other exporters such as Brazil, and soymeal could easily be substituted by animal feeds made from other seeds, Han added.

China, the world's top agricultural products importer, has an annual shortfall of 90 million tonnes of soybeans and the US supplies a third of China's total imports.

Soybeans are processed to make cooking oil and animal feed.

Beijing started levying an additional 25 per cent tariff on U.S. beans on Jul 6 in retaliation for a similar move by Washington in the tit-for-tat trade war.

Source: Reuters/aa