China's February soybean imports lowest since October 2016

9 Mar 2018 | Rei Geyssens

Soybean imports into China during February were the lowest monthly figure recorded since October 2016, according to data released by Chinese Customs Friday.

The fall in imported volume during February was attributed to the Chinese New Year holiday.

It is the first month in the 2017/18 marketing, which starts in October, that shows a drop to last year’s data, keeping accumulative imports still ahead of the 2016/17 marketing year.

Imports so far this season add up to 37.98 million mt, compared to 35.24 million mt for the same period last year.

Demand for soybean meal in Chinese remains healthy, keeping crush margin profitable at RMB 132/mt ($20.84/mt).

Despite livestock breeding cycles being extended because of tighter Chinese regulation, profit margins for breeders remain attractive, encouraging business expansion and new entrants into the market, according to the CNGOIC.

The Chinese livestock population is expected to increase during the remainder of the marketing year, bolstering its domestic soymeal demand.

Despite the February slowdown, estimated arrivals for March are 6.5 million mt for March and 8.5 million mt for April, both higher than comparable 2017 arrivals.

Chinese customs estimate total soybean imports for 2017/2018 year at 96 million mt.

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