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China mulls lifting import tariff quota control on three oil products

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/8/7 13:21:46

China is considering lifting the import tariff quota control on rapeseed oil, soybean oil, and palm oil, a move which is intended to encourage domestic companies to broaden their importing channels as well as enrich the categories of oil imports said an agricultural expert to the Global Times on Wednesday. 

The Ministry of Commerce on Wednesday sought public opinion on amending the import tariff quota control regulations on agricultural products. According to the new draft of the regulations, wheat, corn, rice, sugar, and cotton are still under tariff quota control.

This also means that China will no longer arrange import quota for the three aforementioned oil products, based on past versions of the regulations.

"This sends a signal that the government encourages domestic companies to freely arrange their imports of those oils, whether in terms of importing quantity or importing channels," said Jiao Shanwei, editor-in-chief of cngrain.com, a website specializing in disseminating news about the grain sector. 

It also shows the government's commitment to adjust the oil consumption structure by encouraging imports of oil categories that are not yet very popular on the Chinese market such as palm oil, Jiao added. Currently, soybean oil takes the lead in domestic oil consumption. 

Pressure has mounted on China to develop soybean importing channels after its trade relations soured with the US, as it has previously relied greatly on the US for soybean imports. 

To fill this "gap" of soybean needs, China has turned to countries like Russia for importing soybean, Jiao said. The move turned to be effective as now the country's dependence on US soybean has largely dwindled, he added. 

Chinese companies have halted purchasing US agricultural products after the US threatened to impose fresh tariffs on Chinese goods. Though the trade of agricultural products between the two countries showed some signs of recovery before that, however, it is again swinging between life and death with an escalation of the trade war.

Global Times

Posted in: MARKETS

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