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Peak Pegasus finally docks in Dalian, China after over a month; Beijing says it will retaliate in kind

Peak Pegasus finally docks in Dalian, China after over a month
Reuters 12 Aug 2018

A cargo ship that sailed from the US carrying $20 million worth of soybeans was circling off the Chinese coast for over a month.
The ship became an internet sensation on Chinese social media as it raced to deliver its cargo last month before new Beijing tariffs took effect.
On Saturday, the Peak Pegasus finally docked, presumably to deliver its soybeans.

BEIJING (Reuters) - A ship carrying soybeans from the United States docked in the port of Dalian on Saturday, more than a month after it arrived off China's coast just hours after hefty tariffs were imposed on US goods, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon shipping data.

The short journey into the northern Chinese port was the first by Peak Pegasus, which has 70,000 tonnes of US soybeans on board, since it arrived off the coast on July 6 shortly after Beijing imposed 25% import duties on $34 billion worth of US goods, including soybeans.

The penalties were in response to a similar move by Washington as part of a tit-for-tat trade dispute between the world's two largest economies.

The ship was moored in the port area just after midnight on Sunday morning, according to the latest data.

The move into the dock suggests the cargo may be about to be unloaded, becoming one of the first US soybean shipments to incur the new penalties as the trade dispute deepens. China's state grain stockpiler Sinograin is the buyer of the shipment, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Two other ships carrying US soybeans, Star Jennifer and Cemtex Pioneer, have been anchored off China's coast for the past few weeks.

Star Jennifer, which has been sitting off Dalian since July 24, was moving on Sunday, according to shipping data. It was not immediately clear where it was heading.

The final stages of Peak Pegasus' one-month journey to Dalian captured public attention in China as it became uncertain if it would arrive in time before the duties kicked in.

Last month, Chinese state media deployed the legume in a political cartoon aimed at undermining support for the trade dispute among US farmers, key supporters of US President Donald Trump.

Soybeans, which are used to make cooking oil and animal feed, are the top US agricultural export to China, with the trade worth $12.7 billion in 2017.

Last week, the Trump administration said it would start collecting tariffs on another $16 billion worth of Chinese imports from Aug. 23, as it tries to put pressure on China to negotiate trade concessions.

Beijing has said it will retaliate in kind.