SAO PAULO, July 26 (Reuters) - Brazil, the world’s largest soybean exporter, is vying for a 5 million tonne export quota to sell soymeal and soyoil to China, the newspaper Valor Econômico reported on Thursday, quoting Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi.
The petition would allow Brazil to boost trade of higher-value products with the Asian country, Valor reported.
China bought 78 percent of Brazil’s soybean exports in the first half of the year, a trade worth $18.43 billion, according to government data.
Brazil exported about $6 billion worth of soymeal and soyoil in 2017, according to oilseeds processors association Abiove and government data. In the case of meal, used as animal feed, Brazil’s biggest clients are European countries like Holland, France and Germany.
Speaking at a summit of BRIC countries in Johannesburg, Maggi said Brazil would make the request during a meeting with China’s President Xi Jingping scheduled for Thursday.
Representatives of BRIC, comprising Brazil, Russia, India and China, are meeting for three days in South Africa this week.
The Agriculture Ministry press office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Valor report.
The Brazilian official also said a trade rift between the United States and China may be good for the South American country in the short term, the paper said. That’s because it opens up the possibility of selling more soybeans to China after Beijing imposed a 25 percent import tariff on certain U.S. farm products including the oilseeds.
But in the medium term, the trade spat may have a negative effect on the meat industry because it is likely to boost the cost of animal feed, Valor quoted Maggi as saying.
Reporting by Ana Mano; Editing by Bernadette Baum