China’s soybean imports are likely to touch a record high of 57.5 million tonnes in 2012, up 9.3 % year on year, due to the country’s booming demand and shrinking domestic output.
China’s soybean growing area fell 13.8 % from the previous year to 5.79 million hectares in 2012, marking five consecutive years of decline, according to data from the Ministry of Agriculture, Chinese news agency (Xinhua) reported.
The ministry forecast that yields will likely decrease 5.3 % year on year to 1,693.5. kilos per hectare because of a summer drought, causing the country’s total soybean output to a three-year low of 9.8 million tonnes.
Falling domestic output suggested that China is becoming more dependent on the global market.
According to the latest report from the US Department of Agriculture, China’s soybean imports will rise to nearly 61 million tonnes next year, up 3 million tonnes from 2012.
Margins at Chinese oilseed crushers have been eroded due to rising import prices of soybean. But analysts said prices may fall in the future as South American soybeans will be harvested and come to market soon