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China's soya bean imports from Brazil rise to record in June

China's soya bean imports from Brazil rise to record in June

Imported soya beans are transported at a port in Nantong, Jiangsu province, China, Aug 6, 2018. (File photo: Reuters)

BEIJING: China's soya bean imports in June from top supplier Brazil soared to a record high, according to customs data released on Sunday (Jul 26), driven by growing demand for soya beans as China's pig herd recovers after deadly outbreaks of African swine fever.

The world's top soya bean buyer brought in 10.51 million tonnes of the oilseed from the South American country in June, up 91 per cent from 5.5 million tonnes in the previous year, data from the General Administration of Customs showed. The June figures were also up 18.6 per cent from May imports from Brazil at 8.86 million tonnes.

China's overall soya bean imports in June were a record 11.16 million tonnes as Chinese processors also made the most of lower Brazilian prices as better weather facilitated exports.

China brought in 267,553 tonnes of soya beans from the United States in June, down 56.5 per cent from 614,805 tonnes in the previous year. Imports fell 45.6 per cent from 491,697 tonnes in May.

China has stepped up purchases of US farm produce including soya beans, and will need to ramp up purchases dramatically to fulfil its pledge under a phase 1 trade deal the two sides signed in January.

Some Chinese crushers in the south were struggling with bulging inventories due to arrivals of beans, while heavy rains and flooding in recent weeks curbed demand from the animal farming sector.

Crushing plants in the north are doing better thanks to demand from the recovering pig herd, according to importers.

Inventories are expected to remain high in coming months as shipments from Brazil remain large.

China's national weekly soya bean inventories reached 7.39 million tonnes by Jul 21, their highest since November 2018, and more than double a record low in late March, when soya bean arrivals from Brazil fell after bad weather slowed exports.

National soymeal stocks also rose to more than 1 million tonnes earlier this month, up from a record low of 139,000 tonnes in April. 

Source: Reuters/zl

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