March 8, 2021
January-February China soybean imports drop slightly due to shipment delay
China's General Administration of Customs said the country's soybean imports for January and February 2021 are slightly lower compared to last year as Brazil rains delay shipments, Reuters reported.
China's imported 13.41 million tonnes of soybean in the first two months of this year, 0.8% lower compared to the 13.51 million tonnes imported in 2020, based on customs data.
China's customs data publishes preliminary trade data for January and February combined to smooth out distortions from the week-long Lunar New Year holiday.
China's soybean imports in 2020 was a record high as soybean crushers increased purchases because of improved margins and high demand from the swine industry.
Importers in China usually obtain soybeans from the United States in the fourth quarter and early months of the new year. China also increased US agricultural purchases such as soybeans to fulfil its pledge in the US-China Phase 1 trade deal signed in January last year.
China's soybean crushers also purchase from Brazil early in the year as the new crop enters the market, but rains in Brazil have disrupted harvest there and boosted US soybean imports.