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China Soybean Imports From Brazil Surge

Reuters writer Mei Mei Chu reported on Monday that, “China’s soybean imports from Brazil rose 71% in October from a year ago, data showed on Monday, boosted by cheaper prices following a bumper crop in the South American nation.

China imported 4.81 million metric tons of the oilseed from Brazil last month, according to the General Administration of Customs.

World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates at a Glance. USDA- Economic Research Service (November 9, 2023).

“Record Brazilian soybean supplies are expected to lead China’s imports in the last three months of 2023, a period typically dominated by freshly harvested U.S soybeans, traders and analysts said in early November.”

The Reuters article explained that, “October arrivals from the United States, China’s second-largest supplier, shrank to 228,264 tons from 772,787 tons a year ago.

“China’s purchases from the United States had been well below the normal pace this year but the world’s largest soybean importer has in recent weeks booked large U.S cargoes in a wave of buying.”

U.S. Agricultural Trade Data Update. USDA- Economic Research Service (November 9, 2023).

Monday’s article added that, “For the first 10 months of 2023, China has imported 59.68 million tons of Brazilian soybeans, up 21% compared with the same period last year.

“Total U.S. imports so far this year are down 1.8% at 18.78 million metric tons, the data also showed.”

World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates at a Glance. USDA- Economic Research Service (November 9, 2023).

Also today, Reuters writer Naveen Thukral reported that, “Chicago soybean futures rose on Monday, recovering from two-week lows as strong Chinese demand underpinned prices, although expectations of rains in Brazil’s dry oilseed growing areas limited the upside.”

Thukral pointed out that, “In the week ended Nov. 9, U.S. exporters sold 3.92 million metric tons of soybeans for shipment in 2023-24, which began on Sept. 1.

This was the largest-ever single-week, single-marketing-year volume, trouncing the prior high of 3.19 million tons set in September 2020.

“Elsewhere, forecasts of rains in Brazil this week have eased concerns over dry weather slowing crop planting in the world’s top exporter. “

Keith Good Photo

Keith Good is the Farm Policy News editor for the farmdoc project. He has previously worked for the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, and compiled the daily News Summary from 2003-2015. He is a graduate of Purdue University (M.S.- Agricultural Economics), and Southern Illinois University School of Law.

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