Japan’s Marubeni stops some new soybean sales to China amid trade dispute



Yuka Obayashi & Hallie Gu | Reuters

TOKYO (Reuters) – Marubeni Corp said on Friday that its U.S.-based unit, Columbia Grain Trading Inc, has stopped all new soybean sales to China because falling sales volumes to the country due to the trade war with the United States have cut earnings.

The move highlights the growing impact of the trade dispute between the United States and China even after Beijing agreed to a potential removal of tariffs on some soybean imports.

Columbia Grain Trading stopped new sales from July 24, a spokesman at Marubeni, one of Japan’s biggest trading houses, told Reuters.

The decision does not impact other Marubeni units such as Gavilon involved in trading grains, including soybeans to China, and their business continues as normal, the spokesman said.

There are no plans to shut down Columbia Grain Trading, the spokesman said.

China was the top buyer of U.S. soybeans until Beijing slapped a 25% tariff on shipments in response to U.S. tariffs on a range of Chinese products.

That all but halted U.S. soybean imports, dealing a blow to American farmers and traders of the oilseed across the sector.

But as talks have restarted between the U.S. and China on trying to resolve their issues, Beijing indicated it would allow exemptions to the soybean tariffs for some cargoes arriving before the end of the year.

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