Just in: according to Bloomberg China has said it will cancel a visit to meet soyabean sellers in the United States. This is straight retaliation for the textile restrictions. Things are hotting up. Watch this space.
Chinese trade officials postponed a planned visit to the U.S. Friday to meet soybean sellers after the U.S. said it would restrict imports of knit fabric, robes and other textiles from China.
China was set to discuss purchases of U.S. soybeans, wheat, machinery and other products. It backed out when some of the officials didn't obtain visas, said Phillip Laney, the American Soybean Association's China director. A new date for the talks hasn't been set.
"The official reason is that some of the members didn't get visas but there are suspicions that it reflects some unhappiness with the textile negotiations that are going on,'' Laney said. China's imports of U.S. soybeans may rise as much as 17 percent to 9 million tons in the year ending Sept. 30, 2004, as domestic demand increases, the Beijing-based China National Grain & Oils Information Center said in a report last week. That's worth about $2 billion based on this year's average futures price. Soybeans for January delivery fell 3 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $7.74 in after-hours trading on the Chicago Board of Trade.