China on track to end 19/20 with record soybean, vegoil imports

9 Oct 2020 | Johnny Huang

China’s imports of soybean and vegetable oils for the 2019/20 marketing year are expected to reach the highest level on record, according to the latest estimates from the country's agriculture ministry released Friday.

Soybean imports for the year are estimated to total nearly 98 million mt, up from previous estimate of 96 million mt, according to the Chinese Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimate (Casde) for October 2020.

This means that China’s soybean imports during September 2020 will need to reach at least 9 million mt in order to reach the annual target.

China has already imported 88.74 million mt between October 2019 and August 2020, according to China Customs data.

For the 2020/21 marketing year, all estimates were unchanged from the previous month with imports at 95.1 million mt and domestic output at 18.82 million mt.

“The US reduced new crop soybean yields, but gross output is still higher than the previous year. South American soybeans have gradually been planted and the area is to increase further. It is expected that the situation of global soybean supply for the new marketing year is still sufficient,” said report said.

Vegoil imports for 2019/20 are also estimated to grow year-on-year to 9.27 million mt, up from 8.96 million mt in the previous year, with the increase coming amid a major fall in the imports of rapeseeds, the report said on the reasons for higher vegoil imports.

Imports for 2020/21 have been left unchanged at 8.45 million mt, with domestic production being maintained at 27.65 million mt.

Meanwhile, fundamentals for corn were largely static from the previous estimates with the import volume for 2020/21 pegged at 7 million mt, and production flatlined at 265 million mt.

The Chinese marketing year starts in October each year and ends in the following September.