China and US
WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. – A new export procedure to China is officially going into effect Jan. 1, 2018. The new procedure, which applies to both bulk and container shipments of raw, unprocessed soybeans to China and is necessary to maintain the uninterrupted flow of U.S. soybeans to the United States’ largest export market.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is making U.S. soybean farmers and exporters
aware of a new procedureto comply with China’s phytosanitary import requirements. 

Greg Ibach
Greg Ibach
“Working closely with our Chinese counterparts and U.S. soybean industry representatives, our top priority was to establish a new procedure that would address China’s phytosanitary concerns and keep U.S. soybeans moving without delay through China’s ports of entry,” said Greg Ibach, USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs.

In September, Chinese officials notified APHIS of foreign material exceeding Chinese standards as well as weed seeds of quarantine concern in U.S. soybean shipments to that country.  

Osama El-Lissy
Osama El-Lissy
“We worked closely with our partners in China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine on a practical solution that addresses their concerns and provides for the uninterrupted flow of U.S. soybeans for our soybean producers and exporters,” said Osama El-Lissy, deputy administrator for APHIS’ Plant Protection and Quarantine program.

The new procedure involves APHIS notifying China when a soybean shipment exceeds 1% foreign material by placing an additional declaration on the phytosanitary certificate that says, “This consignment exceeds 1% foreign material.”

Chinese officials have assured the United States that this notification will allow all U.S. soybean exports to China, including those with more than 1% foreign material, to continue without interruption until the United States is able to fully implement a series of science-based measures from farm to export terminal, called a systems approach, during the 2018 crop year and reduce the volume of foreign material and weed seeds in soybean shipments to China.

NGFA Randy Gordon
Randy Gordon
“We look forward to working with APHIS and other stakeholders in the U.S. soybean value chain to develop the components of the systems approach, including weed seed control best practices to be implemented on-farm, starting with the 2018 soybean growing season,” said Randy Gordon, president and chief executive officer of the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA). 

“Record U.S. soybean production is driving record exports,” according to a Nov. 30reportfrom the Economic Research Service (ERS) of the USDA. “Although unit values are lower on larger global supplies, these are expected to spur additional demand for U.S. soybeans, pushing total soybean export value up $200 million to $24.1 billion. Competition from South America and demand in China remain key drivers in the forecast.”

Regionally, Asia remains the top export market for U.S. agricultural products. The USDA said ag exports for the region are expected to grow to $61.9 billion in fiscal 2018, up from the August forecast of $61.5 billion but down from $63.4 billion in fiscal 2017.

Jim Sutter USSEC CEO
Jim Sutter
“Over the coming months and years, USSEC will work together with partner organizations to promote effective implementation of the systems approach throughout the U.S. soybean supply chain, including ongoing efforts by our organization to promote the development of timely, science-based technologies that U.S. farmers need to produce the best quality product possible,” said Jim Sutter, CEO of the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC). “We are confident that this agreement will allow U.S. soybean farmers and exporters to continue to service the important Chinese market without interruption.”