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China’s soybean imports from Brazil fall in May, U.S. shipments jump

China’s soybean imports from Brazil fell in May while shipments from the United States rose sharply, customs data showed on Monday, as high prices curbed demand for South American cargoes.

The world’s top soybean buyer imported 7.79 million tonnes of the oilseed from Brazil in May, down from 9.23 million tonnes a year earlier, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.

Shipments from the United States in May came in at 1.73 million tonnes, up sharply from 244,431 tonnes a year earlier, according to customs data.

Chinese buyers turned to U.S. soybeans for better profits during the peak Brazilian soybean export season, as bad weather pushed up prices of the oilseed in the South American country.

For the first five months of the year, China brought in 20.47 million tonnes of Brazilian beans, up from 15.66 million tonnes in the same period of last year.
Imports from the United States for January to May came in at 16.77 million tonnes, down from 21.51 million tonnes the previous year.
Poor crush margins have been weighing on crushers’ appetite for soybeans in recent months. Crushers in Rizhao lost about 172 yuan ($25.75) from each tonne of soybeans processed. CNSOY-RZO-MRG

Demand for soymeal from the feed sector has come under pressure as the farming sector has struggled to make profits.

COVID-19 curbs also restricted movement of goods and people, disrupting the normal feed trade and dampening business.

But hog margins have improved in the past two months, returning to positive terrain due to rising pig prices. JCI-HOGM-HENAN

With pig prices expected to grow stronger, demand for soymeal could pick up and return crushing margins to positive territory in a couple of months, after crushers work through their large soymeal stocks, traders said.

China currently has ample supplies of soybeans, with 9.67 million tonnes received in May and June arrivals seen at nearly 9 million tonnes, leading to high soymeal inventories.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Hallie Gu and Dominique Patton; Editing by Richard Pullin and Jacqueline Wong)

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