BEIJING: China imported 7.15 million metric tons of soybeans in September, customs data showed on Friday, falling 7.3% from a year ago after a spike in global prices curbed recent purchases.
China’s oilseed purchases from top producer and exporter Brazil have surged this year as buyers jumped on cheaper beans following a record harvest in the Latin American country.
But recent imports were hampered by the poor crush margin, meagre profits for pig farming and a bearish outlook for the global soybean price, said Rosa Wang, analyst at Shanghai-based agro-consultancy JCI. China buys soybeans to crush into meal for animal feed and oil for cooking.
The September arrivals were lower than some traders’ expectations of about 8 million tons.
In August, imports of soybeans rose 31% from a year ago.
Soymeal futures on the Dalian exchange, which hit record highs in August on weather concerns in No. 2 soy exporter the United States, have eased this month, on growing stocks in China and softening demand.
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Hog prices in China are falling, despite the start of the peak fourth quarter consumption season, weighed down by excess production and a slower than expected economic recovery.
Hog futures in the world’s top pork market have slumped 6% so far in October.
Soy imports in the first nine months of the year rose 14.4% year-on-year to 77.8 million tons, the customs data also showed.