HONG KONG (August 01 2003) : Several soyabean cargoes remain stranded atChinese ports due to import restrictions, and some buyers are consideringcancelling deliveries despite talk of moves to allow vessels through,traders said on Thursday.
The cancellations could affect purchases from the US new crop, they said.
Some traders said China had already washed out or sold back to thesuppliers at a fee as many as six to seven cargoes from South America andfrom the US old crop.
Traders said Chinese quarantine authorities, known as CIQ, were to handout up to six import permits (IP) by the end of this week, paving the wayfor some vessels to discharge soyabeans after waiting at ports for days oreven weeks.
At present, 16-18 boats are stranded at Chinese ports as CIQ has beendragging its feet in issuing the permits in what is seen as an attempt byBeijing to slow runaway soyabean imports.
In what CIQ called a special case, it has already granted one permit for asoya cargo in Shanghai, which has been waiting there since July and is nowbeing inspected for release in the near future.
"This is a special case," an official at the Shanghai quarantinedepartment told Reuters.
"The cargo did not have a permit when it arrived and that's why there wasa delay."
Referring to the cargo, one Shanghai trader said: "It has been waiting toolong. CIQ has agreed to allow discharge."
"There is lots of talk CIQ will issue some ISP by the end of this week ornext week. But we cannot confirm any."
Quarantine authorities in Beijing declined comment.
With so many cargoes stuck and many more sailing towards China for arrivalin the next several weeks without import permits, the traders said Chineseinterest in booking more soyabeans had all but disappeared over the past10 days.
Worries over import restrictions would not evaporate even if CIQ doesissue the next batch of import permits on Friday or next week, theysaid.-Reuters