China's soybean imports from top supplier Brazil surged in July from a year ago, customs data showed, as cargoes bought on the cheap in recent months arrived in the country.
The world's top soybean buyer brought in 8.18 million tonnes of the oilseed from Brazil in July, where prices have been cheap due to ample production, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.
That was up 27% from 6.42 million tonnes in July 2019, but lower than the record 10.51 million tonnes of soybeans imported from the South American country in June.
For the month of July, Chinese importers brought in 10.09 million tonnes of soybeans overall, driven by good demand from the livestock sector as farmers expanded output to plug domestic pork shortage.
China brought in only 38,331 tonnes of soybeans from the United States in July, a fraction of the 911,888 tonnes in the previous year. The figures were also down from 267,553 tonnes in June.
Good Crush Margins
Large imports from Brazil had been expected because of good crush margins in recent months.
"We (expect) to see more US shipments in the fourth quarter, as there aren't many beans from anywhere else in the market (then)," said a source with a major crusher, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
Chinese crushers are expected to step up purchases of soybeans from the United States in the fourth quarter to meet healthy livestock demand.
Soybean arrivals were expected to come down a little, as crushers digested previous cargoes, traders said, although shipments would still remain at high levels on good crush margins.
China's national weekly soybean inventories reached 7.83 million tonnes by 23 August, their highest since October 2018.
National soymeal stocks also rose to over 1.2 million tonnes earlier this month, the highest since August 2018, and up from a record low of 139,000 tonnes in April.