May 23, 2023
Brazil overtakes US as China's largest soybean supplier in April
China's imports of soybeans from Brazil exceeded shipments from the US last month due to seasonal factors, YiCai Global reported.
According to data from China's General Administration of Customs, China imported US$3.4 billion worth of soybeans from Brazil in April, compared to US$1.2 billion from the US. In the first three months of the year, the US was China's primary source of soybeans.
As the world's largest soybean importer, China consumed 107.2 million tonnes of soybeans between October 2021 and September 2022, with imports surpassing 90.2 million tonnes. This figure is expected to increase to 116.6 million tonnes between October 2022 and September 2023, with imports projected to reach 98 million tonnes.
The fluctuation in American and Brazilian soybean exports to China is heavily influenced by seasonal patterns. Chen Qiang, an agricultural analyst at Mailyard Futures, explained that the US, located in the northern hemisphere, typically plants soybeans from April to June and harvests them from September to November. Consequently, exports are concentrated between September and December.
Brazil, situated in the southern hemisphere, plants soybeans from October to December and harvests from March to May, with the majority of exports occurring between March and June.
Due to a record-breaking harvest in Brazil this year, the country is likely to remain China's primary source in July and August as well, Chen said.
Brazil surpassed the US as China's top source of imported soybeans in 2013 and has held this position ever since. Data from the General Administration of Customs showed that China imported over US$19.1 billion worth of soybeans from the US and US$37.3 billion from Brazil last year.
- YiCiai Global