EU weekly soybean imports hit five-year high of 530,000 tonnes

According to data published by the European Commission, soybean shipments to the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal and Germany tripled compared to previous years in March

EU weekly soybean imports tripled to 531,512 tonnes in the week to March 19, the highest weekly volume of shipments in five years, data from the European Commission showed Tuesday, March 21.

The bulk of the soybeans were shipped to the Netherlands (182,399 tonnes or 34%), Spain (137,217 tonnes or 26%), Portugal (77,340 tonnes or 15%), and Germany (58,176 tonnes or 11%).

That was enough to take the total volume moved to the bloc so far this marketing year to 8.4 million tonnes, narrowing the gap from last year by five percentage points to 15%.

On a cumulative basis, since July 1, 2022, the Netherlands stands as the leading EU soybean importer with 2.5 million tonnes or 28% arriving, followed by Spain (2.2 million tonnes or 26%), Germany (1.5 million tonnes or 18%), Italy (735,609 tonnes or 9%), and then Portugal (612,277 tonnes or 7%).

The top import origins were the US with 4.14 million tonnes (49%, down two percentage points on the week), Brazil with 2.44 million tonnes (29%, up two percentage points on the week), Ukraine with 909,350 tonnes (11%) and Canada with 707,718 tonnes (8%).

Soy meal imports

Soy meal imports to the EU fell by 53% week-on-week to 122,608 mt, bringing the marketing year total to 11.2 million tonnes, a 4% year-on-year drop.

During the week of March 12-19, the Netherlands was the leading buyer of soy meal in the EU (43,288 tonnes or 35%), followed by Spain (20,000 tonnes or 16%), France and Romania (approx 17,000 tonnes or 14%) each.

Since the beginning of the marketing year, the five main recipients have imported almost equal shares of soybean meal: the Netherlands (1.9 million tonnes or 17%), Poland (1.8 million tonnes or 16%), Spain (1.6 million tonnes or 14%), France (1.5 million tonnes or 13%), and finally Germany (1.05 million tonnes or 9%).

The largest import origins were Brazil with 5.8 million tonnes (51%, down one percentage point on the week), and Argentina with 3.92 million tonnes(36%, up one percentage point on the week).

Palm oil imports

Weekly palm oil imports totaled 41,227 mt, up 7% week on week, leaving the total import figure for the marketing year at 2.6 million mt, still down 29% from last year.

During the reporting week, the Netherlands took more than half of the volume with 26,465 tonnes or 60%, followed by France and Belgium with 2,500 tonnes or 6% each.

The Netherlands stands as a leading importer of palm oil into the EU since July 1, 2022, with total marketing year imports of 887,356 tonnes (33%), followed by Spain with 848,865 tonnes (32%), Italy with 358,266 tonnes (14%), and Germany with 234,569 tonnes (9%).

The top import origins were Indonesia with 1.09 million tonnes (41%), Malaysia with 550,934 tonnes (21%), and Guatemala with 431,576 tonnes (16%).

Rapeseed imports

As for rapeseed, European imports remained largely stable compared to the prior week, coming in at 98,861 tonnes, of which 60,237 mt (61%) was imported by Greece and 25,829 tonnes (26%) by Belgium.

Since the beginning of the season, the EU’s total rapeseed imports amounted to 5.87 million tonnes, up 54% from the previous year.

Belgium was the biggest importer during the marketing year with 1.52 million tonnes (26%) taken, followed by the Netherlands (931,779 tonnes or 16%), France (888,071 tonnes or 15%), Germany (819,381 tonnes or 14%), and Poland (696,723 tonnes or 12%).

Ukraine and Australia were the main suppliers of rapeseed to the EU, with 2.91 million tonnes (50%) and 2.44 million tonnes (42%), respectively.

Sun meal imports

Finally, weekly sunflower meal imports to the EU jumped by 69% to 84,065 tonnes, pushing the total for the marketing year to date to 1.86 million tonnes, up 12% year-on-year.

During the reporting week, Poland and the Netherlands took the lion’s share of sunseed meals with 27,147 tonnes or 32% and 23,976 or 29%, followed by Bulgaria (13,638 tonnes), France (6,408 tonnes) and Romania (3,589 tonnes).

The key sellers of sunflower meal in the EU since July are Ukraine (877,938 tonnes or 47%), Russia (406,100 tonnes or 22%) and Argentina (384,087 tonnes or 21%).

*The information published by the European Сommission is often revised for previous periods.

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