Green light for rapeseed meal imports from India to China

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/AvigatorPhotographer
© GettyImages/AvigatorPhotographer
China has dropped a ban on rapeseed meal imports from India as the government seeks to diversify sources of protein used in livestock and poultry feed given the trade war with the US, reported Reuters citing Chinese officials.

Rapeseed meal shipments from India can resume if they meet certain inspection and quarantine requirements, the General Administration of Customs in China said on its website.

China was a leading buyer of rapeseed meal from India before a 2011 ban on such imports into China was imposed due to quality concerns.

Tests carried out by Chinese officials before the ban was brought in showed that some Indian rapeseed meal cargoes were contaminated with malachite green, a dye widely used in India to brand grain sacks, wrote The Hindu Business Line.

Indian lobbying

As the Chinese-US tariff tiff has escalated, India has been pushing to restart its rapeseed meal exports to China, trade that was valued at US$ 161 million in 2011.

In August, India trade officials had an online meeting with Chinese officials to remove any lingering concerns about the quality of Indian rapeseed meal they may had still had, according to the local media outlet. There was also a meeting between trade officials from both countries on the issue at the Indian embassy in Beijing in September, reported Reuters.

In July, Beijing removed tariffs​ on soybeans, soybean meal and rapeseed from five Asian countries including India as it looks to ways to reduce its dependence on soybean imports from the US.

China is also weighing up the benefits of increasing the use of synthetic amino acids in formulations to enable the feeding of lower protein based feeds to chickens and pigs. 

Length registration process

India could potentially export around 500,000 tons of rapeseed meal to China every year, BV Mehta, executive director of industry body, Solvent Extractors Association of India, told local press.

Exporters, however, will still need to register with Chinese authorities and it is a lengthy process, he added.

There is reportedly strong demand for Indian rapeseed meal currently in South Korea, Vietnam and Thailand.

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