China drops tariffs on soybeans for some Asian nations

China is the world's largest importer of soybeans, which are widely used in animal feed
AFP

Beijing (AFP) – China on Tuesday confirmed it would cut tariffs on goods from five Asian nations, including soybeans, as a brewing trade war with the US could make American beans more costly.

As part of the Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement with neighbours Bangladesh, India, Laos, South Korea and Sri Lanka, Beijing will drop tariffs to zero on several important farm imports while cutting tariff rates on dozens of other goods starting July 1.

The date comes five days before Beijing is scheduled to impose new tariffs on the US, a major supplier of farm goods like the soybeans used widely in animal feed.

China will drop its border tax to zero on soybeans, soybean oil, rapeseed, cow and sheep fat, among other products, the list published Tuesday by China’s state council shows.

As the world’s largest importer of soybeans, with $14 billion in imports from the US last year, analysts are worried the planned tariffs could cause the price of animal feed to rise in the world’s second-largest economy.

Beijing has ordered its farmers to grow more of the crop and has been increasing imports from Brazil and Argentina, while India has also exported the beans to China in the past.

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