USDA Announces New Soybean Procedure for US to China Shipments

Soybean field Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Soybean field

December 27, 2017 04:32 PM

A new procedure affecting U.S. soybean farmers and exporters and designed to comply with Chinese agricultural requirements is set to go into effect at the start of the year.

The measure requires the U.S. Department of Agriculture to notify china when a bulk or container shipment of soybeans exceeds 1 percent of foreign material by adding a statement to the photosanitary certificate.

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The USDA says Chinese officials in September notified the department of foreign material exceeding Chinese standards making its way into soybean shipments, as well as weed seeds that represented a quarantine concern being present.

The agriculture department aimed to put soybean farmers and exporters on notice of the new requirement in a release. 

It said the soybean exports should go uninterrupted as long as the notification of foreign material exceeding 1 percent is placed on the certificate, the department says. 

In the meantime, the U.S. will continue efforts to implement "a series of science-based measures from farm to export terminal, called a systems approach, during the 2018 crop year" aimed at reducing foreign material and weed seeds. 

RELATED: US trade deficit rose to $43.5 billion in September

The new notification procedure applies to both bulk and container shipments of raw, unprocessed soybeans to China.

Minnesota grain and seed exports, two-thirds of which were soybeans, fell 10 percent in 2016, according to the state Department of Employment and Economic Development. That's due in large part to an $86 million decline in sales to Mexico, Japan, France, Colombia and Belgium.

The USDA predicted a record soybean harvest for the state in 2017. Soybean acres in the state were expected to go up 9 percent to 8.3 million.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Michael Oakes

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