China, the world’s top soybean buyer, will reduce the amount of foreign material allowed in shipments of US soybeans as of January 1, the US Department of Agriculture said on Wednesday [20 December 2017], a move that may curb imports…Full Article: South China Morning Post Dec 2017

Key Point

  • China will institute new import quality standards for U.S. soybeans. Soybean shipments containing up to 1% foreign material will pass thru customs without any delays, while shipments with more than 1% foreign material will be delayed with additional testing. The bulk of U.S. imports are comprised of No. 2 yellow soybeans which can contain up to 2% foreign material. Soybean prices could increase by USD 0.15 per bushel (~27.2 kg) in order to meet these new quality standards. Brazilian soybeans are exempt from these new standards.

ChinaAg Comments

  • The U.S. has four different quality grades for its soybean exports. U.S. No. 1 soybeans contain up to 1% foreign material, No. 2 up to 2%, No. 3 up to 3%, and No. 4 up to 5%. Foreign material includes weeds, rodent pellets, bird droppings, castor beans, crotalaria seeds, glass, stones, or other substances and animal filth.
  • From January to June 2017, the futures contract price for U.S. No. 2 yellow soybeans decreased from USD 379.59 per MT to USD 339.73 per MT, or by -11%. In 2016, No. 2 yellow soybeans price averaged USD 362.17 per MT. From January to June 2017, the FOB export price (Gulf) for U.S. No. 1 yellow soybeans decreased from USD 394.46 per MT to USD 351.53 per MT, or by -11%. In 2016, No. 1 soybeans price averaged USD 382.03 per MT.

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