August 11, 2011


China's soy, edible oil imports surge in July


China's imports of soy and edible oil in July climbed steeply from June, spurred by government restocking and higher domestic prices of vegetable oils and soymeal, analysts said.


China imported 5.35 million tonnes of soy and 700,000 tonnes of edible oil, up 24% and 49% respectively, the General Administration of Customs said Wednesday (Aug 10).


The sharp increase in edible oil imports was partially due to government buys to replenish reserves, which had fallen sharply following regular auctions, analysts said, adding that higher domestic prices of edible oil and soymeal also boosted imports.


Since October, the government has sold a total of 1.98 million tonnes of rapeseed oil from reserves, the state-backed China National Grain & Oils Information Centre (CNGOIC) said.


"Crushers delayed some June shipments to July due to lower profit margins, leading to sharply higher numbers," experts said, hinting the demand is still sluggish.


Soy imports will likely remain flat in August at about 4.8 million tonnes and fall to around four million tonnes each in September and October, the CNGOIC said earlier.


Domestic edible oil prices are unlikely to rise sharply due to lower prices worldwide, analysts said.

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