Soybean imported from China increased 41% in October compared to a year ago, the General Administration of Customs reported.
China imported 8.69 million tons of soybeans in October, up from 6.18 million tons. Crushers booked Brazilian soybeans on good crush margins and US soybeans are starting to arrive, GAC said.
Imports were down compared to September when 9.8 million tons were imported.
While US soybean imports increased in October, the majority are still from Brazil, according to one analyst.
US soybean purchases are increasing in the fourth quarter and early next year, when the US crop dominates the market. China also is working to fulfill the terms of the phase one agreement trade deal with the United States.
“The buying pace is expected to slow a little in the coming months, as crushers have booked a lot of Brazilian beans earlier already and US beans will increase as well,” said a crusher based in northern China.
China corn imports are set to increase as well
Depleted stocks and high domestic prices are anticipated to increase China’s corn imports, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The USDA is forecasting a jump from 7 million tons to 22 million tons of corn to be imported for the 2020-21 marketing year.
China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA)’s October China Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (CASDE) noted the country has had a corn supply gap for the last several years, which the country has filled with auctions from reserves. MARA auctioned a total of 57 million tons from May to September 2020 and no further auctions are planned until spring 2021.
Industry sources said corn imports will be needed to meet demand, control further price increases and maintain stocks through 2021. China already has begun using temporary wheat and rice reserves and imports of feed quality wheat in the substitution of domestic corn.