Britannia P&I Club’s Brazilian correspondent, Brazmar, has issued a Circular to inform that the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply is looking at possible changes to the current official specifications for soybean cargo imports.
ccording to Brazmar, the proposed changes deal mainly with quality requirements, sampling, presentation and marking / labelling. It is important to mention that, as the scenario currently stands, the subject official standards are only compulsorily applicable to government sales, final consumption and cargo imports.
As per Brazmar, whilst the discussions are ongoing, below are some areas that will possibly be addressed in case actual changes occur.
- Moisture content: one of the main changes discussed is the reduction in the percentage of moisture, from 14% to 13%, recommended for marketing purposes. The proposal is to establish a new moisture limit that can improve the quality of the product and meet the requirements of the national and international markets;
- Impurities: Another aspect that can be addressed is the definition of limits for the impurity content allowed in the soybean. This refers to the presence of foreign materials such as straw, stones, earth, among other unwanted elements that may be present in the grains;
- Mechanical damage: This criteria is utilised to assess the mechanical damage to the kernel, such as cracking, breaking and crushing, which can affect the quality and commercial value;
- Oil content: The oil content in soybeans is an important factor for the processing industry. It is possible that minimum or maximum limits for the oil content will be discussed, to guarantee an adequate supply of raw material for the production of soybean oil and its derivatives;
Whilst it appears that some of the changes will benefit carriers – especially the reduction in moisture content, which should allow longer periods of carriage with a reduction in the risk of mould formation/cargo deterioration, it is unclear how swiftly and to what extent the changes will be implemented, Brazmar adds.
Brazmar also reminds that the Circular is for general guidance only and should not be acted on without further specific checks.
To remind, UK P&I recently warned of shortages and customs fines relating to soybean imports, after a historically dry season in the country.