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China's Soybean Imports to Set New Record
USAgNet - 03/25/2016

China's soybean imports will surge to a new record next year, according to a U.S. government forecast. Dow Jones reports that the imports will rise to 84.5 million metric tons in 2016-17, up 3% from the record of 82 million tons for the current marketing year that runs through September 2016.

The USDA reports that soybean imports are expected to continue on an upward trend driven by declining domestic production unable to meet growing consumption. Rising meat consumption in China has fuelled demand for soybeans to be fed to livestock. China accounted for 60% of global imports last year and despite slowing economic growth will continue to dominate the market, the USDA said.

It noted the near-12% year-on-year revenue growth in China’s catering industry–despite high-profile efforts by the government to restrict spending public money on banquets.

At the same time, population growth and urbanization is fueling demand for vegetable oil, which in China is mostly derived from soybeans.

China doesn't publish official statistics for its soybean reserves, but the USDA cited an estimate of 8 million tons from a major industry source.

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