December 11, 2008
China, the world's top soy buyer, imported 3.32 million tonnes of soy in November, up 56 percent from October, as low import costs spurred more inflows of the commodity into the country, official Customs data showed on Wednesday.
The November imports were on par with the 2007 level of 3.35 million tonnes.
Figures from the China Customs Administration showed that total soy imports in the first 11 months of 2008 rose by 22.4 percent to 34.14 million tonne.
A slump in shipping costs and falling Chicago Board of Trade soy prices have made it cheaper for Chinese importers to make soy purchases.
Beijing purchase of domestic soy at higher prices had also prompted some crushers, particularly in the north, to import.
Customs figures showed imported soy were priced at about US$508.7 a tonne, cheaper than the RMB3,700 (US$539) per tonne offered by Beijing for state reserve purchases.
Traders expect China soy imports in December to reach 3.5 million tonnes, as the global financial crisis has not sapped China's demand for the oilseed, which is used to make cooking oil and feed ingredient.
China imported 850,000 tonnes of edible oils in November, higher than 510,000 tonnes for October. November's figure brought the total for the first 11 months to 7.41 million tonnes, down 3.9 percent on year.
US$1 = RMB6.856 (Dec 11)