China’s annual soybean imports from Brazil decline for second consecutive year

Volumes shipped from Brazil reached 54.39 million tonnes in 2022, down 6.45% from the previous year

China’s soybean imports from Brazil fell in 2022 for the second year in a row, data from China’s General Administration of Customs showed on Friday, January 20.

Soybean volumes from Brazil reached 54.39 million tonnes in 2022, down 6.45% against the previous year.

Imports from other key suppliers, US and Argentina, also slipped as weakened demand amid a year of Covid-related disruptions and higher domestic production weighed on imports.

For 2022, China purchased 29.5 million tonnes of soybeans from the US, an 8.48% drop from the previous year, while imports from Argentina fell by 2.08% to 3.65 million tonnes.

Poor crush margins for most of the year had also kept demand from Chinese crushers constrained, with demand for feed from hog farmers also reduced amid poor farming margins.

View our data analysis of soybean crush margins

China’s soybean imports in December from its key suppliers, however, rose across the board, with imports from the US notably rising by 78.03% on the month to 6.02 million tonnes, 0.77% lower than last year.

December volumes from Brazil came in at 2.56 million tonnes, 1.1% higher on the month and 21.2% more compared to a year ago.

Meanwhile, soybean imports from Argentina rose 26.5% against November to 1.46 million tonnes.

This was 331.6% higher than the previous year, with China having stepped up its buying from Argentina in the last few months of 2022 on the back of Argentina’s ‘soy dollar’ instrument policy which made prices of Argentine soybeans more attractive against its competitors.

December’s soybean imports were also higher by 43.7% against November at 10.56 million tonnes, as slower cargo loading and longer clearance times at customs slowed arrivals in November and rolled into December.

For the 2022-23 marketing year, China’s agricultural outlook committee had kept its estimates for soybean imports unchanged at 95.2 million tonnes while raising production to 20.29 million tonnes from the previous 19.48 million tonnes in its latest China Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates (Casde) update.

View our soybean price data

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