BEIJING, Oct 13 (Businesshala) – China’s soybean imports in September fell 30% from the same month last year, and hit the lowest level for the month since 2014, 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.
“The figures were within the market’s expectation,” said an industry source, who declined to be identified as not authorized to speak to the media.
“The crush margin was poor, while some of the crushers had also stopped operations for routine maintenance,” the source said.
Sugar crushers intensified soybean purchases earlier this year on anticipation of strong demand from fast-recovering pigs.
However, demand started weakening as falling hog margins put pressure on crush margins.
Hog margins in Sichuan, the top pig-producing region, fell by about 3,000 yuan this year to minus 285 yuan (minus $44.22) per hog as of Tuesday. jci-hogm-yourself
This helped push crush margins to the lowest level on record in June and they were negative till the end of August. CNSOY-DLN-MRG
Imports in September were also lower than the 9.49 million tonnes brought in during August, customs 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 are expected to be lower than last year, as lower margins have curbed buying, while US exports slowing due to Hurricane Ida will also reduce arrivals.
Soymeal cash prices have risen even after massive power cuts in recent weeks forced the closure of some crushers, which also supported crush margins.
According to myagric.com agriculture consultancy, China’s weekly soybean and soymeal stock was lower last year than last Friday. ($1 = 6.4455 Chinese Yuan Renminbi) (Reporting by Hailey Gu and Shivani Singh; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)