BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s soybean imports in June from Brazil’s main supplier surged to record highs, according to customs data released on Sunday, driven by increased soybean demand as a herd of Chinese pigs recovered after a deadly outbreak of African swine fever.
PHOTO FILE: Imported soybeans are transported at the port in Nantong, Jiangsu province, China August 6, 2018. REUTERS / Stringer / Photo File
The world’s top soybean buyers brought in 10.51 million tons of oil seeds from the South American country in June, up 91% from 5.5 million tons a year earlier, data from the Customs Administration General showed. June’s figure also rose 18.6% from May’s imports from Brazil at 8.86 million tons.
China’s overall soybean imports in June were a record 11.16 million tons because Chinese processors also made most of Brazil’s prices lower because better weather facilitated exports.
China brought 267,553 tons of soybeans from the United States in June, down 56.5% from 614,805 tons in the previous year. Imports fell 45.6% from 491,697 tons in May.
China has increased purchases of US agricultural products including soybeans, and will need to increase purchases dramatically to fulfill its promises under a phase 1 trade agreement signed by both parties in January.
Some Chinese destroyers in the south are struggling with glaring supplies due to the arrival of seeds, while heavy rains and flooding in recent weeks have held back demand from the animal husbandry sector.
Destroying crops in the north has improved thanks to requests from recovered pig herds, according to importers.
Inventories are expected to remain high in the coming months because shipments from Brazil remain large.
China’s weekly national soybean inventory reached 7.39 million tons on July 21, the highest since November 2018, and more than double the record low at the end of March, when soybean arrivals from Brazil fell after bad weather slowed exports.
National soymeal stock also rose to more than 1 million tons earlier this month, up from a record low of 139,000 tons in April.
Reporting by Hallie Gu, Pei Li and Dominique Patton, Writing by Shivani Singh; Editing by William Mallard