Zangdamp/beijing : China has called on food traders and processors to increase their stocks of grains and oilseeds, fearing a possible second wave of coronavirus cases and rising infection rates in other countries, raising concerns about global supply chains.
Grain traders and food producers, both public and private, have been asked to buy large quantities of soybeans, soybean oil and corn in recent appeals to the Chinese Trade Ministry, three trade sources told Reuters.
It is possible that the supply lines are interrupted due to a corona virus infection. For example, a port of departure or destination may be closed, said a senior trader with a large Chinese food processing company who spoke on the phone to the authorities last week to discuss purchases.
They advised us to increase stocks and keep deliveries at a higher level than we normally have. He added that the situation in Brazil did not look good, pointing to China as the main supplier of soybeans and the main exporter of meat, where the cases of coronavirus had surpassed those in Spain and Italy.
A second source in China, informed by a person who attended one of the meetings, said that the Chinese Ministry of Commerce met with a number of state-owned companies on Tuesday to discuss how to guarantee the offer during the pandemic.
One of the most important issues is how an outbreak in South America could affect the Chinese (bean) supply, according to the source.
The Chinese Ministry of Commerce did not respond to the fax requesting comments on the plans to increase the food supply.
Source : Refinitive Acon, US Department of Agriculture through Reuters.
Brazilian soybean deliveries were delayed in March and April due to a combination of heavy rains and a reduction in staff due to coronavirus control measures, resulting in a sharp drop in Chinese soybean stocks to record levels.
In the meantime, visits to Brazil have resumed, but the authorities are still afraid of further interruptions.
The Chinese state-owned company COFCO and Sinograin’s grain warehouse have stepped up their purchases of American soybeans and corn in recent weeks.
Chinese importers bought at least four shipments on Monday, about 240,000 tons of US soy beans to be shipped from July, said two traders familiar with the trade.
Beijing has also increased grain import quotas for wholesalers, opening the door to other potential purchases.
China is under pressure to buy more US agricultural products under a trade agreement signed between Washington and Beijing in January, and trade sources expect more of China’s harvest to come from the US once the South American export season is over and North American harvests begin in the autumn.
Efforts are focused on increasing supplies, not only from Brazil, but from all over the country, said the head of the food processing company. American beans have been healthy since September, he added.
U.S. crop export sales figures show that Chinese buyers have accelerated the purchase of soybeans for the coming harvest. 374,000 tonnes of new crop have already been registered, compared to an average of 60,000 tonnes since 2016.
China is also the world’s largest importer of meat and is facing a major shortage of domestic supply since the outbreak of African swine fever, which has destroyed the pig population, the largest in the world.
As a result, imports from the United States, the world’s largest pork exporter, were expected to increase sharply, but widespread COWID-19 outbreaks in US abattoirs and processing plants led to a decline in meat production in the country.
Already this year, China has registered a record shipment of pork to the US, raising concerns about new tensions between countries when US meat production problems hamper domestic supplies, while supplies to China remain strong.
This account was published on the channels of the telegraph offices without any change in the text. Only the title has been changed.