April 10, 2018 / 2:40 AM / 10 months ago

Top Chinese feedmaker says high soybean tariffs "nothing to fear" - report

BEIJING, April 10 (Reuters) -

* New Hope Group, owner of major Chinese feedmaker New Hope Liuhe , is “fully prepared” to reduce the impact of an escalating trade spat between the United States and China, Group Chairman Liu Yonghao told the Boao Forum on Monday

* The comments, reported by local paper 21st Century Business Herald, are the first by a Chinese feedmaker since Beijing said last week it would slap a 25 percent import duty on soybeans from the United States in response to Trump’s tariffs on Chinese exports

* The United States is China’s No. 2 soybean supplier, shipping around a third of its supplies last year

* New Hope will diversify its soybean sourcing, buying from Brazil, Argentina, the Middle East, Russia, India and South Africa, said Liu, according to the report

* It could also use more corn, rapemeal, peanut, sunflower or even coconut meal to reduce its soymeal needs, he said, noting China has a surplus of corn

* With appropriate subsidies, China could also increase local soybean output, he added, with higher global soy prices also making local production more competitive

* “We can completely manage this problem through international procurement, adjusting the planting of crops, and adjusting feed formulas,” he said (Reporting by Dominique Patton; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)

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