Casde: China raises import estimates for 22/23 soybeans, corn

12 Sep 2023 | Jane Li

China’s agriculture outlook committee has raised its estimates for the country’s imports of corn and soybeans for the 2022/23 marketing year, while also increasing its forecast for soybean imports for the 2023/24 marketing year, according to the monthly update of its China Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates (Casde) published on Tuesday.

China’s 2023/24 marketing year runs from October to September the following year for corn, soybeans and vegetable oils.


The committee’s estimates for the output of soybeans remain unchanged from last month for both 2022/23 and 2023/24, with production estimated at 20.29 million mt and 21.46 million mt, respectively.

But it raised the estimates for imports of both 2022/23 and 2023/24 to 99.86 million mt and 97.25 million mt, respectively.

In August, the previous month, the estimates for 2022/23 and 2023/24 stood at 95.2 million mt and 94.22 million mt.

The expected increase in 2023/24 soybean imports is mainly due to a high demand for feed protein raw materials from China’s livestock and poultry industry, according to Casde analysts.

Despite the estimated growth in imports, the analysts say due to disruptive factors such as high temperatures during the critical growth period of the new season of US soybeans, global soybean prices have remained relatively high.

This, coupled with a decline in the exchange rate of the CNY against the US dollar, has pushed up the costs for soybean imports, they say.

The estimates for soybean consumption have also been raised for both 2022/23 and 2023/24 to 115.07 million mt and 116.92 million mt, respectively, partly due to an increase in crushed soybean consumption thanks to China’s gradually improving live hog breeding profits that will support demand for soymeal, according to the analysts.

In August, the 2022/23 and 2023/24 consumption levels were 112.87 million mt and 114.14 million mt, respectively.


Estimates for corn production for 2022/23 remain unchanged from August at 277.2 million mt, while they have increased by 2.6 million mt to 284.94 million mt for 2023/24.

The largely favorable weather conditions in China’s northeastern and northern regions in August, including heavy rains brought by typhoons, had boosted corn growth, while the expected late first frost in the northeastern region will also help with the ripening of the crop, according to Casde analysts.

Corn imports for 2022/23 meanwhile are estimated to increase by 500,000 mt to 18.5 million mt, while the estimate for 2023/24 imports remains unchanged at 17.5 million mt from last month.

Lastly, corn consumption is estimated to be unchanged for 2022/23 to remain at 290.51 million mt, while the 2023/24 consumption is forecast to increase by 2 million mt to reach 295 million mt for 2023/24, mainly due to an estimated increase in feed consumption.

Edible vegetable oils

The estimates for vegoil production have increased for both 2022/23 and 2023/24 to reach 30.5 million mt and 30.25 million mt, respectively, compared with 30.09 million mt and 29.7 million mt for the two periods in August.

The increases in its production are mainly because of the rise in estimated soybean imports, which could boost soybean oil output, according to Casde analysts.

In addition, the stable harvesting of new season peanuts in China’s main peanut-producing areas including Henan and Shandong provinces and Inner Mongolia, coupled with better light temperature and normal precipitation in those areas, will be conducive to peanut harvesting and drying, they say.

The estimates for imports of vegoil, meanwhile, remain unchanged for 2022/23 and 2023/24 at 8.63 million mt and 8.43 million mt, respectively.

Estimates for vegoil consumption also remain unchanged for both periods to stand at 36.32 million mt and 36.61 million mt, separately.