China to allow imports of barley, blueberries from U.S.

FILE PHOTO: A container filled with blueberries is seen during a harvest at a farm in Lake Wales, Florida, U.S., March 31, 2020. Picture taken March 31, 2020. REUTERS/Marco Bello

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China will allow imports of barley and blueberries from the United States, according to notices on its customs website.

Imports that meet the relevant requirements will be allowed effective Thursday, according to the notices.

The move comes after China agreed in January to boost its imports of U.S. agricultural products by an additional $32 billion over two years as part of a Phase 1 deal that marked an easing in trade tensions between the two countries.

It also comes ahead of China’s decision in an antidumping probe on barley imports from its top supplier Australia.

Australian grain producers said last week that they have been informed by China that it could impose tariffs of more than 80% on the grain.

The United States has only exported around 100,000 tonnes of barley a year in recent years, compared with several million tonnes exported by Australia.

Most of the U.S. crop is grown under contract for domestic maltsters but approval to export to China could allow for any barley that does not meet malting requirements to be shipped to China for use in feed.

Reporting by Emily Chow and Dominique Patton; Editing by Himani Sarkar