March 8, 2022
China's soybean imports in January and February 2022 higher year-on-year
Data from China's General Administration of Customs showed the country's soybean imports in January and February this year were higher than the same period in 2021, beating market expectations, Reuters reported.
China imported 13.94 million tonnes of soybean in the first two months of 2022, 4.1% higher compared to the 13.41 million tonnes imported in January and February 2021.
The market expected reduced imports due to delayed harvesting and slashed output estimates in Brazil.
Refinitiv data showed China's soybean imports were 7.8 million tonnes in January 2022 and 4.4 million tonnes for February 2022.
Zou Honglin, an analyst with the agriculture section of Mysteel, a China-based consultancy, said imports in January and February 2022 were bigger than expected, especially as there would not be a tightness in the domestic market if the arrivals were this high.
Zou said the data discrepancy could be caused by non-commercial cargoes, as commercial buying did not support such high figures.
Because of the Lunar New Year, China does not break out separate import figures for the first two months of the year.
Lower than projected soybean imports have forced major Chinese crushing plants to suspend operations, resulting in soaring soymeal prices.
Importers have purchased US soybeans after American shipments became competitive against Brazilian cargoes.
Soybean arrivals in March and April are expected to remain limited as bad weather in Brazil continues to affect crops and shipments there.
China's soymeal prices are also on the rise due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which has disrupted the global agricultural supply chain.