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Soybean imports in China are likely to rise to a new high by August 2014 due to the fall in domestic output and increased demand for animal feed and edible oil
Hu Zengmin, analyst, China National Grain and Oils Information Center, said, “Based on rising market demand, China’s soybean imports in 2013-14 are likely to rise by 15 per cent from the previous market year, making 10 consecutive years of rising soybean imports.”
The soybean sector covers a range of businesses that involve food and oil processing, production, animal husbandry, chemical fibre and other industries.
Imports rose 11.2 per cent to 58.4mn tonnes in 2012 from a year earlier, while prices were up 5.8 per cent year-on-China's soybean imports to increase by 15 per cent this yearyear to US$599.30 per tonne, according to the General Administration of Customs.
Heilongjiang province in Northeast China, the nation’s largest producer of soybean has battled heavy rain and floods in the last four months. More than 235mn hectares of soybean farmland with an estimated output of 4.64mn metric tonnes in 2012 bore the brunt of bad weather. Heilongjiang’s soybean production is likely to fluctuate between 650,000 and 500,000 tonnes this year.
“The adverse weather conditions have severely undercut Heilongjiang's soybean production this year and will force China to import more foreign soybeans to meet its domestic demand,” said Zengmin.
The US department of agriculture also forecast a 16 per cent increase in China’s soybean imports from last year — an estimated 69mn tonnes in the 2013-14 market year.