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China, the world’s top soybean buyer, can fully meet the needs of its state soybean reserves without importing from the United States, an official with the state stockpiler told state TV on Thursday.
The comments by Lu Xiaodong, deputy general manager of Sinograin, on CCTV come after Beijing imposed 25 percent duties on imports of U.S. soybeans last Friday, in retaliation over measures imposed on Chinese goods by U.S. President Donald Trump.
The steep duties on beans from China’s No. 2 supplier threaten to raise costs for livestock farmers and potentially increase the price of pork, the nation’s favourite meat.
Without U.S. soybeans, China can import from South America and countries participating in China’s Belt and Road initiative to satisfy its needs for state stocks, said Lu.
There are currently ample state stocks of soybeans, he said. The size of Beijing’s soybean stockpiles is not known.
The report follows comments made by state-owned grains trader COFCO earlier this week, which also sought to soothe concerns about supplies of the oilseed in China.
China’s agriculture ministry cut its forecast for soybean imports for the 2018/19 crop year on Thursday, warning that higher prices due to trade conflict with the U.S. would curb demand as farmers switch to alternative ingredients for their animal feed.