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China's U.S. Soy Imports Delayed from Hurricanes
USAgNet - 10/05/2017

China's soybean imports from the United States are likely to be delayed by at least two weeks as suppliers struggle to find high-quality beans following crop damage from hurricanes, two trade sources with knowledge of the matter said. Reuters reports that shipment delays could result in tight supplies at the end of October and early November, they warned, driving up soymeal and soyoil prices in the world's biggest importer of soybeans.

"Exporters are asking Chinese buyers to lower the quality specification, but they are not agreeing," said one Singapore-based trader at an international trading company with oilseed processing facilities in China. The trader declined to be identified because he is not authorized to speak to the media.

China, which buys about 65 percent of soybeans traded worldwide, has been snapping up U.S. soybean cargoes in recent weeks, taking advantage of a nearly 10 percent decline in prices since mid-July.

But early harvested soybeans, produced near the Mississippi Delta, suffered damage from hurricanes last month, making it difficult for exporters to meet quality specifications agreed with Chinese buyers, the trade sources said.

The poor bean quality is causing delays at U.S. Gulf terminals, with waiting times for ships rising to 10-12 days from the usual five days at this time of the year, the traders said.

Low water levels in the Mississippi river due to dry weather could add to delays in shipping crops as the harvest gathers momentum.

Back-ups at aging locks have slowed navigation on the Mississippi and its tributaries and driven the cost of hauling Midwestern crops to Gulf Coast terminals to near-record highs.

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