October 19, 2011


China's soy imports set to climb in 2012


China's 2011/12 soy imports are likely to rise to 58.50 million tonnes from 52.85 million in 2010/11, with continued Chinese demand set to support world soy prices, Oil World said Tuesday (Oct 18).


"China's dependence on soy imports has already reached alarming proportions and is set to increase further in 2011/12 owing to declining domestic soy output and rising demand," Hamburg-based oilseeds analysts Oil World said.


"The large import requirements are likely to meet limited export supplies, which will probably contribute to a reversal of the recent downtrend in soy prices in the foreseeable future."


The soy import forecast is up 0.2 million tonnes from Oil World's September estimate and means the country will need to import around 1.1 million tonnes a week, the analyst said.


China's own 2011/12 soy crop is likely to fall to 13.7 million tonnes from 14.8 million tonnes last season, covering only around 19% of estimated consumption, Oil World added.


But China is likely to transfer soy purchasing to South America in coming months because of the expected poor crop in the US, it said. The USDA on October 12 cut its forecast of US soy yields for the 2011/12 crop.


"We consider it likely that China will need to raise soy imports from Argentina and Brazil to record levels of 10 and 22 million tonnes respectively in 2011/12," Oil World said.


This would be sharply up from Argentine soy exports to China of 8.02 million tonnes in 2010/11 and Brazilian exports of 17.93 million tonnes.


The US will remain China's largest soy supplier, but 2011/12 imports from the US are likely to fall to 24.50 million tonnes from 24.98 million tonnes in 2010/11, Oil World estimated.

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