June 17, 2011


China's June soy imports to reach 5.57 million tonnes


China, the world's top soy buyer, is likely to import 5.57 million tonnes of soy in June, said the commerce ministry, or 22% higher than actual arrivals of 4.56 million tonnes for May according to customs.


Strong seasonally demand from animal feed mills contributed to the monthly increase, but estimated June imports are still lower than the 6.2 million tonnes seen in June 2010.


Soy crushers have slowed imports in the first five months of this year after Beijing's sales of state soy and edible oil reserves hurt their crushing margins. Soy imports in the first five months fell 1% on-year.


"Margins have improved, but remain negative. Crushers are now making less losses, say RMB200 (US$31)/tonne compared with RMB400-500 (US$62-77)/tonne earlier," said one industry analyst.


Domestic soymeal prices have picked up 5% since late May as hog breeders are increasing restocking encouraged by record domestic pork prices.


But China's soy imports in August and September are likely to fall to between 3.5 million tonnes to four million tonnes each month as crushers earlier tried to defer or cancel cargoes, said the China National Grain and Oils Information Centre.


The centre expected July imports would stay at about five million tonnes.


The ministry's figures, based on reports by buyers, fail to catch all shipments, but provide a reference to gauge supplies.


Soyoil imports in June were estimated at 181,094 tonnes, up sharply from 20,000 tonnes for May.

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