September 9, 2022
China's soybean imports in August drop 24.5% year-on-year
Data from China's General Administration of Customs showed the country's soybean imports dropped 24.5% in August compared to the year prior, as prices for the oilseed has increased and demand weakened, Reuters reported.
China, the world's largest buyer of soybeans, imported 7.17 million tonnes in August as opposed to 9.49 million in the same month last year.
The amount was the smallest for August since 2014. Additionally, it fell short of July's 7.88 million tonnes.
Traders and analysts stated that they had anticipated the low import number for August.
Darin Friedrichs, co-founder of Shanghai-based consultancy Sitonia Consulting, said that imports have been extremely sluggish for the past three months.
Brazil, China's top supplier of soybeans, saw its production and exports reduced this year as a result of bad weather, which drove up benchmark prices to almost a decade-high level in June.
This put a stop to Chinese purchases, where soymeal demand has also been hurt by severe losses for swine farmers. To make soymeal, a crucial component of swine feed, and soyoil for cooking, soybeans are crushed.
According to the China Feed Industry Association, production of industrial animal feed decreased by almost 7% in July compared to the same month last year.
As of September 5, crushers in the important processing hub of Rizhao were losing CNY 519 yuan (~US$74.80; CNY 1 = US$0.14) for every tonne of soybeans they processed in China, where crush margins have been negative since mid-April.
A soybean trader in Beijing said, July and August should be lower because June was significantly higher than anticipated.
Friedrichs said following a decrease in the swine breeding herd, hog farming profits have significantly increased recently, which should help soymeal demand later in the year.
According to the customs data, China imported 61.33 million tonnes of the oilseed from January to August, which is 8.6% less than during the same time last year.