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China opens market to soybean meal from Argentina: government

Sao Paulo — China will allow imports of Argentina's soybean meal for the first time, after 20 yeas of negotiations, Argentina's federal government said Tuesday.

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The agreement, which comes as China makes it more expensive for local crushers to buy raw soybeans from the US, will be signed between Chinese and Argentinian authorities in Buenos Aires on Wednesday.

"The historical agreement will represent a great opportunity to enter the world's largest market for vegetable protein as a feedstock," the government said in a statement.

Argentina is the world's largest exporter of soybean meal and soybean oil, as it crushes and sells overseas a large portion of its soybean production.

Currently, China is buying soybeans mostly from Brazil, after it imposed a 25% tariff on US soybeans, due to the trade disputes between Beijing and Washington.

Soybean meal is a key ingredient in animal feed, largely used in pork and poultry production, two of the most important animal proteins consumed in China.

-- Gustavo Bonato,

-- Dayane Stringhini,

-- Edited by Derek Sands,