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China soybean imports hit record 12M tonnes in May

Soybean arrivals for the first five months were up 11.2% year-on-year.

2 Lisa Selfie December 2020 Headshot
Soybean Via P Petro Bigstock
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China imported a record 12 million tonnes of soybeans in May, up 24% on a year ago, Reuters calculations based on customs data showed, as cargoes delayed during last month’s strict inspections were finally unloaded at ports.

Soybean arrivals for the first five months of the year reached 42.31 million tonnes, up 11.2% year-on-year, the General Administration of Customs said on Wednesday.

Edible oils fell from the previous month, but have still more than doubled over the year-to-date as catering and restaurant demand recovers after the pandemic, Blomberg reported.

China plans to reduce soymeal in animal feed

In April, China’s agriculture ministry issued a three-year action plan to reduce the inclusion rates of soybean meal in animal feed in an effort to reduce its reliance on soybean imports, according to a Feed Strategy report.

The new plan says soymeal inclusion in animal feed should be reduced to less than 13% by 2025, down from 14.5% in 2022. It would “guide the feed industry to reduce the amount of soybean meal, promote the saving and consumption reduction of feed grains, and contribute to ensuring the stable and safe supply of grain and important agricultural products,” said the document, published by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

Through the first three months of 2023, China's soybean imports rose 7.9% from the same month a year earlier as buyers in China stocked up ahead of expected strong demand.

At the time, the General Administration of Customs noted total imports for the month came to 6.85 million tonnes, down 2% from February's 7.04 million tonnes.

Arrivals for the first three months of the year came to 23 million tonnes, up 13.5% from a year earlier, the data showed.

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