January 24, 2024


China's soybean imports from Brazil surge in 2023, US market share declines


China saw a surge of 29% in soybean imports from Brazil in 2023, according to customs data, solidifying the South American nation's dominance in the world's largest soybean market and eroding United States market share, European Supermarket Magazine reported.


The data from China's General Administration of Customs revealed that total shipments from Brazil to China reached 69.95 million metric tonnes last year, while imports from the US declined by 13% to 24.17 million tonnes.


China's overall soybean imports soared to 99.41 million tonnes in 2023, with Chinese buyers capitalising on cost-effective supplies from Brazil's abundant crop to sustain its substantial swine herds. Brazil's market share expanded to 70%, while the US share contracted to 24%, as per Reuters calculations based on the provided data.


In December, soybean arrivals from Brazil surged by 94%, totalling 4.98 million tonnes, compared to the previous year, while arrivals from the US experienced a 31% decline, reaching 3.85 million tonnes.


Projections indicate that China's soybean imports in the first quarter of the current year may decrease by approximately 20% from the previous year to 18.5 million tonnes, according to a Reuters survey. This anticipated decline follows a record slaughter that reduced swine herds.


On another front, expectations for increased soybean production in Argentina, the third-largest grower, in 2024 could pose additional competition to US soybeans. Meanwhile, Chicago soybean futures, despite a slight rise on Friday, are on track for a fifth consecutive weekly loss after hitting a two-year low in the previous session due to expectations of abundant supply. Corn and wheat futures saw slight increases, with corn trading near three-year lows. All three contracts have experienced a 6% decline this month, influenced by factors such as rainfall in South America, a major soy producer, and higher-than-expected US inventories, which have improved the overall supply outlook.


-       European Supermarket Magazine

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