April 15, 2022
China's soybean imports in March 2022 18% down year-on-year
Data from China's General Administration of Customs showed the country imported 18% fewer soybeans in March this year compared to the same month in 2021, as poor weather postponed Brazilian imports and lower crush margins dented demand, Reuters reported.
China imported 6.35 million tonnes of soybean in March 2022, 18% lower compared to the 7.77 million tonnes in March 2021
The data showed imports between January to March this year was 20.28 million tonnes, 4.2% lower compared to the same period in 2021.
A manager with a major soy crusher in China said March supplies were tight and demand for soymeal was declining.
He said supplies of soy remain tight in April, adding that tightness will subside on what the feed producers require.
Soymeal prices in China climbed from the beginning of the year to record highs in late March, as soybean supplies tightened following a drought that delayed harvest in leading exporter Brazil, though prices ultimately declined from their peak.
According to traders, crushers were also sluggish to make purchases due to low swine margins, which affected crush profits.
Board crush margins for soybeans for delivery between May and July were about negative CNY 200 to negative CNY 300 (~ -US$31 to – US$47; CNY 1 = US$0.16) per tonne, deterring buyers for future delivery.
Farmers across the country are losing CNY 300 to CNY 600 (~US$31 to US$94.24) for every swine raised, adding pressure on demand for soymeal as livestock feed.
China has released soybeans from state reserves, boosting soybean supplies. Soybeans may be crushed to make soymeal and cooking oil.
Soymeal prices have fallen in recent days as a result of this shift, which has been aided by market predictions of greater soybean imports in the coming months.
Zou Honglin, an expert with China-based consultancy Mysteel's agriculture unit said low rates of operation at soy crusher facilities and recent anti-COVID-19 regulations that restricted transportation drove prices higher.