China's March soybean imports from US surge 13% on year, Brazil falls

27 Apr 2020 | Johnny Huang

China’s soybean imports from the US in March soared year-on-year as trade tension between the two eased following the Phase One trade deal signing, although Brazil remained its main supplier despite volumes falling.

The world’s largest soybean buyer imported more than 1.71 million mt from the US in March this year, up more than 13% from the same month in 2019, data from China Customs showed Monday.

This was against the backdrop of January's Phase One deal, in which China pledged to buy $40 billion of US agricultural goods this year, the majority of which is expected to come from the soybean sector.

Despite the jump, import volumes from the US still lagged behind those from Brazil where a record harvest is underway.

China’s imports from Brazil totalled nearly 2.1 million mt, down nearly 25% year-on-year as crushers slowed buying due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

But Brazil was still the largest supplier of soybeans to China during March, accounting for more than half of the total volume of 4.28 million mt imported during the month.

Meanwhile, imports from Argentina during March this year were slightly higher at 336,088 mt, up 4% from the same month last year.