China lifts ban on rapeseed meal imports from India

China has lifted a ban on rapeseed meal imports from India, in a bid to diversify sources of protein used in animal feed, the Chinese customs administration said on Monday.

The customs administration has allowed rapeseed meal shipments from India to resume from Monday, provided they meet certain inspection and quarantine requirements, the General Administration of Customs said on its website.
China used to be the top buyer of Indian rapeseed meal before the ban was imposed in 2011, over quality concerns. India exported rapeseed meal worth $161 million to China in 2011. 
China has now allowed import of Indian rapeseed meal from processing plants inspected and approved by the Export Inspection Council of India, and registered with China’s General Administration of Customs, the Chinese media reports said.
B V Mehta, executive director of the Solvent Extractors’ Association of India, welcomed the move. “This is a very good development that we were expecting. But still exporters need to register with Chinese authorities and it is a lengthy process,” he said.
According to Mehta, India can export up to 500,000 tonnes of rapeseed meal to China every year.
Rapeseed futures in India jumped more than 1 per cent on Monday to Rs4,222 ($57.48) per 100 kg.
This is also good news for farmers in India who have started planting rapeseed, the country’s main winter-sown oilseed crop.
China imposed 25 per cent import duties on a list of American products, including soybeans, on 6 July in response to US duties on Chinese goods worth a similar amount.
This has tightened supplies of the oilseed, especially in the fourth quarter, pushing up prices of soymeal.
Beijing is mulling capping protein levels in pig and poultry feed, and seeking ways to import more alternative meals such as rapeseed meal and sunflower meal.
In July, Beijing removed tariffs on soybeans, soymeal and rapeseed from five Asian countries, including India, as part of its efforts to diversify sources of import as it reduces reliance on US soybeans amidst an ongoing trade war.
Soybeans are the top US agricultural export to China by value. China buys 60 per cent of the soybeans traded worldwide, processing them into soymeal to feed its vast pig population.