January 16, 2015
China soy imports reach record 8.5 million tonnes in December
China's soy imports in December reached 8.53 million tonnes, setting a new record that exceeded the previous record in December 2013 by 16.8%. The figure was 41.5% higher than the month before.
Data from the General Administration of Customs of China, the world's biggest soy buyer, also showed that total imports in 2014 reached 71.4 million tonnes, up 12.7% from 2013.
Spikes in imports normally occur during December when Chinese processors increase their crushing volumes. Cheaper US prices, which fell to a 4-1/2-year low in October due to a record harvest, also spurred the December spike.
"Chinese soybean demand has been very strong because of lower global prices which resulted in positive crush margins", said Kaname Gokon, general manager of research at brokerage Okato Shoji in Tokyo, as quoted in a Reuters report.
Gokon, however, sees a decline in imports by February during the Lunar New Year season.
There has been a strong demand in China for soy, which it uses to extract soy meals for its growing meat-production industry that feeds on the country's rising population and wealth.