China’s quota system to limit corn imports will remain a hurdle to US corn exporters and will limit sales to 4-5 million mt a year if it is not amended, a major Chinese feed importer told a conference Thursday.
“I don’t think they will buy 10 million mt as there is a quota for around 7 million mt allocated for Chinese corn imports and it’s already done for the current season,” Renault Quach, vice general manager at feed trader Donlink, told an audience at the Black Sea Grains event in Kyiv on Thursday.
A 10 million mt figure for potential US corn sales to China had been touted in the market as part of a goodwill gesture from Beijing to Washington as the two countries try to renegotiate trade relations.
The quota will likely remain a sticking point next year for a similarly-sized corn deal between the US and China, with Quach saying that without a change to the system a more likely figure would be 4-5 million mt.
Quach also said the 40 million mt of US soybean imports that some have predicted would be difficult to justify given the extent of an ongoing African swine fever outbreak that has ripped through China’s pig herd.
On timing of a trade deal, Quach called June’s G20 gathering a “great opportunity to sign a deal”.
Despite his scepticism, China and the US announced a breakthrough in trade discussions Thursday that would allow form monitoring and enforcement of any agreement between the two.
The world’s two biggest economies have been locked in discussions for several months after tensions between the two ratchetted up through 2018 and resulted in a full-blown trade war that left reciprocal tariffs on major exports from both countries.