August 15, 2008


China's soy shipments to slow, even as soymeal, soyoil prices rise


Even though soymeal and soyoil prices have edged up in China, soy imports are still expected to be low in September and October due to the large volumes that came in during July and August, traders said.


Chinese buyers have sold back four or five soy cargos to sellers after meal prices fell more than 20 percent in one month and soyoil prices by a third.


Bookings for October are estimated at 2 million tonnes, half of the expected 4-million tonnes expected in August.

China's soymeal futures have climbed 8 percent over the past two days and soyoil futures by 5 percent, thanks to resurgent CBOT soy.


China's soy purchases after October are expected to be low as forecasts of a bumper harvest in China reduced buying interest.


Currently, more than 3 million tonnes of soy are stockpiled at ports, enough to last for a whole month.


Beijing also bought 1 million tonnes of soy recently to bulk up on its reserves after low levels last year forced the government to watch helplessly as rising soyoil prices last year drove inflation to a record high.


The government aims to build 5 million tonnes in soybean reserve, the majority to be sourced abroad this year.


The original intention was to prevent prices from rising during the crucial Olympics which was expected to see consumption rising. However, consumption was lacklustre and prices had fallen sharply instead.


Traders expect the domestic harvest to be between 17.5 million tonnes and 19 million tonnes up 36.7 percent from 12.8 million tonnes last year.

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