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BEIJING, Oct 13 (Businesshala) – China’s soybean imports in September fell 30% from the same month last year, customs data showed on Wednesday, as poor crush margins curbed demand.
China, the world’s top buyer of soybeans, brought in 6.88 million tonnes of oilseeds in September, up from 9.79 million tonnes last year, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.
Sugar crushers intensified soybean purchases earlier this year on anticipation of strong demand for fast-recovering pig flocks.
However, demand started weakening as falling hog margins put pressure on crush margins.
Crush margins in China hit a record low in June and remained in negative territory till the end of August. CNSOY-DLN-MRG
Hog margins in Sichuan, the top pig-producing region, fell nearly 3,000 yuan this year and stood at negative 336 yuan. jci-hogm-yourself
Crusher brought soybeans to the livestock sector on a large scale and to crush them into soymeal for cooking oil.
September figures were also sharply down from 9.49 million tonnes in August, the data showed.
According to the data, China imported 73.97 million tonnes of soybean in the first nine months of the year, down 0.7% from the same period last year.
Traders said shipments in October were expected to be lower than last year, as lower margins continued to curb buying, while US exports slowing due to Hurricane Ida would also reduce arrivals.
Some sugar crushers in key production areas had to shut down due to the worst power cuts in years.
Disruption in operations pushed up soymeal cash prices, supporting crush margins.
According to myagric.com agriculture consultancy, China’s weekly soybean and soymeal stock was lower last year than last Friday. (Reporting by Hailey Gu and Shivani Singh; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)