June 13, 2011


China's May soy imports jump 17.5% on-month


China, the world's largest soy buyer, imported 4.56 million tonnes of soy in May, up 17.5% from 3.88 million tonnes in April, figures from the General Administration of Customs of China showed Friday (June 10).


Despite negative crushing margins, Chinese crushers have increased imports to take advantage of peak seasonal demand for animal feed from June. May imports were also slightly higher than the year-ago period at 4.37 million tonnes.


But imports in the first five months fell 1% from a year-ago period to 19.4 million tonnes, according to customs figures.


Beijing's release of state soy and edible oil reserves coupled with retail price caps aimed at taming food prices have soured crushing margins for plants, which need about four million tonnes of soy a month to produce cooking oil and soymeal, a feed ingredient.


Customs figures also showed imports of vegetable oils in May were 390,000 tonnes, down 20.4% from the previous month. Imports became unattractive after price caps on retail sales pressured domestic edible oil prices.


Rice exports in May rose 63% from April to 68,646 tonnes. Drought damage to the country's early-season rice in major rice-growing provinces last month could lead to a reduction in exports in coming months.


China's corn exports surged 177% in May to 27,491 tonnes. China mainly exports to North Korea.

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