China looks to cut minimum protein levels in feed amid trade war

10.10.2018

China's feed regulator on Tuesday proposed to cut the minimum threshold for coarse protein content in pig and poultry feed by 3%, which, if agreed next week, could cut the nation's demand for soybeans by 10 million mt this marketing year.

The state-approved China Feed Industry Association (CFIA) released two documents on Tuesday proposing a minimum content of 17% of coarse protein, down from the existing minimum of 20%, in infant pigs weighing between 3-10kg.

It proposed a similar cut for adult pigs that weigh between 25-100kg as well as for poultry.

Chinese feed manufacturers typically use soymeal to increase coarse protein content in food, meaning that if they adhere to the minimum protein content it will drastically reduce soymeal demand and soybean imports.

“This implies an 8% cut in soymeal usage”, a Chinese-based soymeal trader told Agricensus, claiming it could cut demand of soymeal by "8-10 million mt".

Using a 79% extraction rate of soymeal from soybean, this could help reduce demand for soybean by 10 to 13 million mt in China.

Of 67 million mt of soymeal consumed last year, more than 40% was used in pig feed and more than 20% of soymeal was consumed in the poultry industry.

Chinese crushers are seeking ways to keep feeding its huge livestock with protein without sourcing soybeans from the US – the world's biggest producer – after China's government taxed US soybean imports 25% in a tit-for-tat trade war that has lingered for most of the year.

Last month, China's National Grains and Oil Information Centre said it expected soybean imports to fall 10 million mt this year as a result of the trade war.

agricensus

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