August 22, 2003



China's 2003 Soybean Acreage Up 5% On Year


Soybean acreage in China this year was 5% higher compared with acreage in 2002, according to the latest monthly monitor report from China's Ministry of Agriculture, published on its website,


Chinese farmers increased planting of soybeans in 2003, mainly because of lucrative soybean prices in 2002 and government policies in favor of cash crops such as oilseeds, the report said.


As a result, the area under soybean cultivation in 2003 is estimated to be about 5% higher than that in 2002.


Acreage in Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning provinces were about 10% higher on the year, said the report.


In early July, temperature and precipitation in most of Northeastern China, the top soybean producing region, and northern Hebei, a minor soybean producing province, were favorable for growing the crop. But weather in other soybean growing regions was less favorable, which in turn could trim the national yield potential, the report said.


During January to June, 2003, China imported 10.15 million metric tons of soybeans, a whopping 212% rise over imports in the same period of 2002.


In the same period, China exported 393,000 tons of soymeal, mostly to neighboring nations like South Koera, Japan, Malyasia, etc, and imported less than 100 tons in Jan-June, 2003.


China imported 505,000 tons of soyoil in the first half of 2003, 590% higher than the same period of 2002, and exported 7,800 tons of soyoil, 76% lower on year.


In the period between Oct 2002- Sep, 2003, the supply and demand of soybean in China will increase on the year, with the total supply slightly exceeding the consumption, resulting in a minor increase in ending stocks, MOA said in the report.