China’s Nov soybean imports from Argentina jump on ‘soy dollar’ policy

20 Dec 2022 | Regina Koh

China’s soybean imports from Argentina in November jumped by 17.8% against a year ago, data from China’s General Administration of Customs (CGAC) showed on Tuesday.

Soybean imports from Argentina came in at 1.15 million mt in November, significantly higher than October’s 160,987 mt amid China’s buying spree in September and October where offers for soybeans of Argentine origin were significantly cheaper than competitors Brazil and US.

The surge came on the back of attractive prices from the South American producer as a result of its Export Increase Programme, or the so called ‘soy dollar’ instrument.

China – the world’s largest soybean buyer – stepped up its buying from Argentina after the Argentine government introduced its soy dollar policy – a temporary stimulus measure to encourage farmer selling by guaranteeing an improved exchange rate for soybean producers.

The increase in buying from Argentina eroded the share of its neighbour Brazil, whose volumes to China fell in November by 9.3% against October to 2.54 million mt.

On a year-on-year basis, soybean imports from Brazil also fell by 32.4%.

Meanwhile, imports from the US also rose in November to 3.38 million mt, a jump from October’s 773,167 mt but still lower compared to a year ago by 7%.

Total soybean imports in November came in at 7.35 million mt, up 77.5% from October’s 4.14 million mt but 14% lower against the same period last year, as slower cargo loading and longer clearance times at customs resulted in lower-than-expected arrivals in November.

As such, soybean cargoes are expected to increase further in December, with China’s National Grain and Oil Information Center (CNGOIC) expecting imports to hit around 10 million mt this month.