Taiwan, Uruguay in Price Dispute Over Soybeans

Uruguayan suppliers have agreed to supply Taiwan with only 25,000 tonnes of soybeans out of a total 70,000 tonnes agreed in April, a spokesman for the joint committee of Taiwan’s soybean importers told Reuters.

He said a rise in world prices had made the Uruguayans reluctant to ship any soybeans at the agreed price of 226.56 U.S. Dlrs per tonne.

The Uruguayans agreed to supply part of the shipment after the Taiwan committee threatened last week to cancel the order, but they postponed delivery to July 1-20 from the original June 5-25, the committee spokesman said.

Government sources in Montevideo confirmed that Uruguayan grain exporting firms would ask Taiwan to reconsider prices on the soybeans but said the government would not intervene in the dispute.

“The deal was agreed to between two private companies, without any participation whatsoever from the Uruguayan government,” Uruguyan Agriculture Ministry spokesman Andres Bonino said.

He added, “Uruguay is not going to export 70,000 tonnes of soybeans, since total production this year has been lower than that figure.”

The contract called for the Uruguayans to deliver the 70,000 tonnes in two shipments between June 5 and August 10.

Taiwan’s ambassador in Montevideo, Henry Wang, told reporters, “Both countries are finishing details to arrive at a satisfactory price.”

He said the price would be “very advantageous (for Uruguay) because it will be above the international price.”

Taiwan bought some 36,000 tonnes of soybean last year, making it Uruguay’s biggest customer for the oilseed.

Taiwan’s joint committee holds a tender today for two shipments of U.S. Soybeans totalling 87,000 tonnes.