China, the world’s largest consumer of soybeans, has cut its forecast for imports of the legume reflecting the impact of ongoing trade ructions with the US, one of its biggest suppliers, said Caixin.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs cut its soybean import forecast for the 2018-19 crop year to 83.5 million tons, down by 1.5 million tons from July’s projection, according to a statement released Monday by the ministry.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a similar projection. “With the arrival of African Swine Fever in China in mid-2018 along with the ongoing trade dispute, a steady decline in China’s soybean import volume has been observed with imports currently forecast to reach 83 million tons in 2018/19,” the USDA said in a report published earlier this month.
Chinese farmers are also going to Russia to grow soybeans for sale in their home market as China increases imports from its northern neighbor. “Expanding soybean imports from Russia is a major agreement reached by the leaders of China and Russia,” Gao Feng, a spokesperson of the Ministry of Commerce, said at a briefing earlier this month. China imported more than 800,000 tons of soybeans from Russia in 2018, up 64.7% year-on-year, Gao said.