The National Bureau of Statistics announced that China’s agricultural planting area for the high-protein food crop increased in the first half of the year, following the Ministry of Agriculture statement in late June that nationwide soybean planting is expected to expand 8% to more than 130 million mu (8.67 million hectares) in 2019, an increase of more than 10 million mu over last year, reported Caixin.
In the first half of 2019, China’s imports of soybeans fell 14.7% from a year earlier to 38.27 million tons, according to official customs data. China’s annual soybean imports fell in 2018 for the first time since 2011. Market participants project that this year’s soybean imports will decline further as a result of the trade dispute.
Archer-Daniels-Midland Co., one of the world’s largest agricultural commodities traders, also said that trade patterns affected by a 25% retaliatory tariff on American soybeans introduced more than a year ago may become entrenched as the world’s top importer of soybeans may be seeking to reduce its dependence on the US permanently by buying from elsewhere and expanding its own production.
China imports about 90% of its soybeans. According to official statistics, China’s current demand for soybeans is about 110 million tons a year, and domestic production is about 16 million tons.