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China putting brakes on soymeal exports on GM worries

(Thursday, Sept. 12, 2002 -- CropChoice news) --

Reuters, Nao Nakanishi, 09/11/02: Chinese exporters have slowed sales of soybean meal in case new rules on genetically modified crops force another halt in soy imports, and that India was winning back its market share in some countries, including Japan, as Chinese soymeal prices stood way above the prices from India or even Argentina, which still has soybeans left due to financial woes earlier in the year.

The story says that many people in the industry in China fear soy imports could grind to a halt on December 20, when an interim agreement with Washington on gene-altered crops expires. Under that accord, China agreed to accept U.S. certification that GM crops were safe for humans and livestock. Processors from China, the top importer of U.S. soybeans with purchases of $1 billion last year, had been buying large amounts of soybeans recently for delivery before December 20.

So far, Beijing has remained silent on whether the agreement with the U.S. will be extended or whether a new set of rules will apply to GM crops.