China is the dominant destination for world exports of soybeans and soybean meal, the American Soybean Association reports this week. The Association added that for the first three quarters of the 2000-01 crop the major exporters of soybeans and soybean meal were the United States, Brazil and Argentina. There was relatively little change in the level of demand in many of the other regions of the world. Chinese demand during the first nine months of 2000-01 was up approximately 2.500 million tons soybean meal equivalent from the corresponding period of 1999-00. Chinese import demand is expected to remain strong during the last quarter (June, July, and August) of the crop year but to fall slightly short of shipment pace seen during the March, April, and May quarter. Meal consumption in China is expected to remain near the long-term trend. Contrary to China, meal demand in the largest consuming region, the European Union, was "disappointingly low", according to the ASA. Although this is expected by many to experience significant growth based on the idea that large quantities of soybean meal would be needed to replace meat and bone meal, which has been banned from use in the EU. But, the ASA continues, a reduction in beef demand and a strong reaction to high prices in local currency have dampened demand so far. Import demand from Japan and a number of Pacific Rim countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Korea, the Philippines, and Thailand is down in net in contrast to recent years when demand experienced a consistent growth. Egypt, Iran, Jordan, South Africa, Venezuela, and a number of other Asian countries not normally considered as high growth countries, showed strong growth.