April 21, 2021
China's March soybean imports from the US increases, Brazilian imports plunge
China increased its United States soybean imports by fourfold as delayed cargoes arrive, reaching the highest monthly total since December 2016, while Brazilian soybean imports dropped as shipments from Brazil are delayed due to rains, Reuters reported.
Data from the General Administration of Customs showed China, the biggest soybean purchaser in the world, imported 7.18 million tonnes of soybeans from the US in March 2021, 320% higher compared to 1.71 million tonnes in 2020.
Customs data also showed China imported 314,334 Brazilian soybeans in March 2021, 85% lower compared to the 2.1 million tonnes in March 2020. Based on Reuters records, these were the lowest Brazilian soybean imports since January 2017.
The new data gave the first breakdown of imports by country of origin since China published data earlier in April that showed an 82% increase in overall soybean imports to 7.77 million tonnes.
Darin Friedrichs, senior analyst at StoneX, said the high import numbers are because of delays in US shipments, as some cargo didn't get offloaded until March.
China has increased soybean and other agriculture imports from the US following a US-China trade deal signed in January 2020. But purchasers in China have turned to US soybeans this year after rains in Brazil delayed harvests and exports.
Soymeal demand has waned in China, according to analysts and traders, after a new wave of African swine fever decimated breeding herds in northern China, plus increased use of wheat as animal feed.