November 12, 2019
China sees 10.7% drop in October soybean imports
China's soybean imports in October fell 10.7% from a year earlier, recent customs data showed, as a contraction in the country's pig herd reduced demand for soymeal.
China, the world's top soybean buyer, brought in 6.18 million tonnes of the oilseed last month, down from last year's 6.92 million tonnes, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.
Imports were also 24.6% lower than the 8.2 million tonnes that arrived in September, and the lowest level since March.
According to data from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, China's pig herd shrank by 41% in September versus a year ago, reducing demand for soymeal, a key ingredient in animal feed.
A 16-month-long trade war with the United States, traditionally its second-largest supplier of soybeans, has also curbed imports.
Beijing slapped 25% tariffs on a list of US products including soybeans in July 2018, and added another 5% in duties in September.
China has, however, offered some buyers a tariff waiver to bring in US beans as a goodwill gesture in ongoing trade talks.
For the first nine months of the year, China brought in 70.69 million tonnes of soybeans, down 8.1% from 76.93 million tonnes in the same period last year, customs data showed.