BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s soybean imports rose sharply in November from the previous month, as more shipments from the United States arrived during peak North American export season, showed Tuesday customs data.
The world’s largest buyer of soybeans contributed 8.57 million tonnes in November, up 68% from 5.11 million in October, according to data from the General Customs Administration.
Hurricane Ida limited US grain exports in September, including soybeans, by crippling terminals and delaying shipments.
US shipments later resumed as the impact of the hurricane eased and the market entered peak export season.
For the full marketing year, however, imports of U.S. soybeans from China are expected to decline from a year earlier, as hurricane delays narrowed the export window for U.S. beans, which also made facing strong competition from an early Brazilian harvest.
Chinese soybean imports in November were also down from 9.59 million tonnes in the corresponding month a year earlier, when a large volume of US cargoes arrived following a trade deal.
China imported 87.65 million tonnes of soybeans in the first 11 months of the year, down 5.5 percent from the corresponding period a year earlier, the data showed.
Soybean shipments in 2021 slowed from the previous year as low crush margins dampened demand.
Soybean crush margins in China fell from a record low in June to over 200 yuan per tonne in October, before falling.
Pig margins in southwest Sichuan Province, one of the major pig producers, are 250 yuan per head, up sharply from early October, when farmers suffered a loss of 400 yuan per animal.
But pork prices are expected to drop in the new year if production is not substantially reduced, the agriculture ministry said.
China also imported 673,000 tonnes of vegetable oils in November. Imports in the first 11 months of the year amounted to 9.573 million tonnes, up 1.6% on the year, the data showed.
(Reporting by Hallie Gu and Shivani Singh; Editing by Richard Pullin and Clarence Fernandez)
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