August 11, 2003,
just-food.com: As China’s soybean imports
soar to more than double for the same time last year,
the Chinese government is taking a closer look at importation
regulations and, after reporting phytosanitary violations
in a Brazilian shipment, has decided they are too lax.
As a result China is planning to impose tougher restrictions
on the import of soybeans.
Embassy officials from Argentina, Brazil and the US, the
top soy producers in the world, have been notified of
the new restrictions by Chinese quarantine authorities,
trade sources told Reuters.
Sources at the Brazilian embassy in the Chinese capital
of Beijing confirmed that Chinese officials had told them
that phytosanitary problems had been discovered in shipments,
and that as a result measures might be taken to protect
the Chinese market and the environment.
The Chinese quarantine authorities are reported to have
been slow in handing out import permits in recent weeks,
often leaving ships stranded offshore. Traders are quoted
as saying they suspect that China is simply determined
to control the market, and is using the GMO issue or alleged
phytosanitary problems as a useful pretext.
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