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Supply Chain

China 2023 Soybean Imports From Brazil Rise 29%, US Share Shrinks

By Reuters
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China 2023 Soybean Imports From Brazil Rise 29%, US Share Shrinks

China's soybean imports from Brazil in 2023 jumped 29% from the prior year, customs data has shown, expanding the South American grower's dominance in the world's largest soybean market and eating into the U.S. market share.

Total shipments from Brazil to China were 69.95 million metric tonnes last year, data from China's General Administration of Customs showed.

Imports from the U.S. fell 13% to 24.17 million tonnes.

Bumper Crop

China's total soybean imports jumped to 99.41 million tonnes, after Chinese buyers took advantage of cheaper supplies from Brazil's bumper crop to feed its large pig herds.

Brazil's market share grew to 70%, while the U.S. share shrank to 24%, according to Reuters calculations based on the data.

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In December, soybean arrivals from Brazil were 94% higher than a year earlier at 4.98 million tonnes while arrivals from the United States were 31% lower at 3.85 million tonnes. CNC-SOY-IMP

China's soybean imports in the first quarter are forecast to slow by about 20% from a year earlier to 18.5 millions tonnes, according to a Reuters survey, after a record slaughter shrank pig herds.

Exports from Argentina, the third-largest grower, are expected to surge in 2024 amid forecasts for a rebound in its soybean crop from drought, which could bring further competition to U.S. soybeans.

Soybean Futures

Elsewhere, Chicago soybean futures rose on Friday but were on track for a fifth consecutive weekly loss after the contract dropped to a two-year low in the previous session due to expectations of plentiful supply.

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Corn and wheat futures were slightly higher, with corn trading near three-year lows.

All three contracts have fallen around 6% so far this month, as rainfall in top soy producer South America and higher-than-expected U.S. inventories improve the supply outlook.

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