BEIJING: China imported 9.73 million metric tons of soybeans in July, up 23.5% from a year ago, customs data showed on Tuesday, as near-record production in Brazil boosted supplies.
Arrivals for the first seven months of the year came to 62.3 million metric tons, up 15% from a year earlier, the data showed.
Soybeans are crushed to make soybean meal, one of the major ingredients in animal feed and needed in large quantities for China’s huge hog herd.
Crush margins in China have been positive since mid-June, with crushers in the key processing hub of Rizhao making 277.67 yuan ($38.51) for each tonne of soybean processed.
China’s hog inventories rose 1.1% year on year to 435.17 million in the first half of the year, data from China’s agriculture ministry showed, even though hog farmers have been losing money in the period amid oversupply and weak demand.
USDA June soybean crush seen at 175.5m bushels
Spot hog prices have risen since the end of July as heavy rainfall in northern China has hampered transportation of pigs.
Soymeal prices in China have risen 23% since the end of May, hovering at 4,500 yuan ($627.56) per metric ton.