Tuesday, September 29

China’s animal feed standards set to lower soybean consumption

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Workers are seen next to a truck unloading harvested soybeans at a farm in Chiping county, Shandong province, China. — Reuters photo

BEIJING: China’s new standards of protein content in animal feed will cut the country’s annual soymeal consumption by 11 million tonnes and soybeans by 14 million tonnes, according to a statement from the agricultural ministry.

China is entering what is typically its top buying season for US soybeans, a critical source of protein in livestock feeds, and higher tariffs – part of an escalating Sino-US trade war – could drive up prices.

China’s Feed Industry Association on Friday approved new standards for the feed for pigs and chickens, lowering the protein levels in pig feed by 1.5 percentage points and those for chickens by one percentage point, the ministry said.

It did not give a timeline for when the new standards will take effect.

China, the world’s top consumer of the oilseed, is seeking various ways to cut soymeal in animal feed including turning to alternative meals and reducing protein levels.

The measures came after Beijing imposed 25 per cent tariffs on US$34 billion worth of US  products including soybeans on July 6, in retaliation to US tariffs on Chinese goods of the same amount.

Soymeal futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange for January delivery last traded at 3,383 yuan (US$487.29) per tonne on Friday, up nearly a quarter so far this year. — Reuters