India urges China to lift ban on rapeseed imports amid US trade war

Beijing was biggest buyer of Indian rapeseed meal until it banned purchases in 2011 over quality concerns

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 September, 2018, 4:45pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 20 September, 2018, 4:50pm

India has urged China to drop a years-long ban on rapeseed meal imports from the South Asian nation as it aims to boost sales of critical farm goods amid growing US-China trade tensions.

The appeal was made at a meeting between government officials and feed makers at India’s embassy in Beijing on Wednesday, according to an Indian government official and an executive who attended and spoke on the sidelines of an industry conference here on Thursday.

The aim was to lobby China to resume purchases of rapeseed meal, a key ingredient in animal feed, and to drum up interest in the country’s other major agricultural products, the two said.

China was the biggest buyer of Indian rapeseed meal until Beijing banned the purchases in late 2011 over quality concerns.

A copy of the meeting schedule, reviewed by Reuters, describes it as a meeting of buyers and sellers, with a session introducing India’s exporters followed by one-on-one meetings between importers and exporters.

China looks to replace US farm goods as trade row turns sour

The lobbying highlights how countries are rushing to deepen trade ties with China, the world’s largest agricultural market, as hefty tariffs on US goods, including soybeans, threaten supplies of ingredients used in animal feed.

Soybeans, used to make meal for animal feed, were the United States’ biggest agricultural export to China last year worth US$12.7 billion.

Speakers at the seminar included the managing director of India’s state-run National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation, Sanjeev Kumar Chadha, and Rong Weidong, vice-president of China’s Chamber of Commerce of Foodstuffs and Native Produce (CFNA).

A CFNA official confirmed Weidong made a speech, but did not give further details.