China to allow soybean imports from Ethiopia

(EBC; September 7, 2018)  - China will start allowing soybean imports from Ethiopia, customs authorities said on Friday, as the world’s top importer seeks to reduce its reliance on supplies of the oilseed from the United States amid a trade row with Washington.

The move would diversify soybean imports origins for China, and help meet domestic demand, the General Administration of Customs said in a statement on its website.

It follows this week’s China-Africa cooperation forum in Beijing, to which every African nation sent representatives.

Beijing is seeking more sources for soybean imports and finding alternative protein sources for animal feed after hitting U.S. beans with an additional 25-percent tariff in July as the world’s top two economies remain locked in a trade war.

Ethiopia, the world’s 6th largest coffee grower and the largest in Africa, is better known for its exports of high-quality arabica beans which are used in espressos and lattes for a smoother flavor.

Soybeans are processed to make meal for animal feed and oil for cooking.