China’s soybean imports are set to slow sharply in late 2021 from a record first-half tally, reported Reuters.
A collapse in hog sector profitability and a sharp rise in wheat feed use are crimping demand in China, where imports this year may now be less than 100 million tonnes, compared with a recent US forecast of 102 million tonnes.
As China accounts for 60% of global soybean imports, its diminished appetite – just as US farmers pull in what is projected to be their third-largest harvest ever – stands to add further volatility to the critical crop, which rallied to nine-year highs this year.
“Soymeal demand is reaching rock bottom. Basis is now at minus RMB 120 (in northern China), lowest this year. Demand might come back up, but it sucks now,” said a manager with a crusher in northern China that processes two cargoes of soybeans on average per month. “We can’t really place orders to make purchases. The volume of US soybean exports will surely be affected.”