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China agriculture briefs

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack says he will talk later Monday with his Chinese counterpart.


Chinese imports of US soybeans up sharply from year-ago


China imported 1.03 million metric tons (MT) of soybeans from Brazil during January and February, an 80% decline from the same period last year when Beijing imported 5.14 million MT from the country.


Delayed crop development and persistent rains have slowed harvest and export of Brazilian beans to China, to the benefit of the US. The US exports to China totaled 11.9 million MT during the two-month span, nearly double last year’s 6.1 million MT in shipments. China’s total soybean imports for the first two months of 2021 stood at 13.41 million MT, a 0.8% drop from a year ago.


China cracks down on use of banned leanness enhancer in livestock


China’s ag ministry says it will embark on a three-month drive to crack down on the use of clenbuterol, a banned leanness-enhancing agent, in cattle and sheep.


The ministry is also encouraging local authorities to monitor its possible use in pigs. The ag ministry issued a separate statement indicating it would work with other departments to organize investigations and “severely” punish all kinds of illegal activities involving the use of leanness enhancers.


US, China agriculture chiefs to talk Monday, following heated rhetoric last week

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack says he will talk later Monday with his Chinese counterpart. It appears that the meeting will be virtual. Vilsack made the remarks at an ag policy summit.


Meantime, a very aggressive China was on display in Anchorage, Alaska last Thursday and Friday. A Wall Street Journal opinion item titled: “China’s Warning to Biden: A lecture in Alaska shows that adversaries sense US weakness.”


The commentary began: “That was some tongue-lashing a senior Chinese official delivered last week in Anchorage to top Biden Administration officials in their first meeting. This is the new reality in US/China relations, as adversaries look to see if they can exploit President Biden as they did Barack Obama.”


China’s director of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs, Yang Jiechi, went on a 20-minute lecture about the superiority of “Chinese-style democracy” and America’s sins.


The Wall Street Journal said: “This is only one meeting, but it was a tone-setter for the world’s most important bilateral relationship. Word is leaking that the private exchanges from the Chinese side were as tough as the public remarks. The Chinese are making clear that, after the Trump years, Beijing wants a return to the policy of Obama accommodation to China’s global advances.”



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