China to raise soybean planting; Commodity prices slip

China’s largest soybean growing province to expand planting

Heilongjiang province said it will increase soybean production by 10 million mu (667,000 hectares) in 2022.

The government has put more focus on increasing soybean production in recent weeks. If Heilongjiang achieved this, it would be raising national harvested area by about 8%.

The province is likely to shift the balance of subsidies to favor soybeans over corn. This will likely lead to marginal increases in soybean planting.

But it will still be challenging to achieve the targeted level of increase as corn prices in China remain firm and it will be difficult to entice producers to switch their farming away from corn and to soybeans.

Commodity prices weaken across the board

The National Bureau of Statistics reported price changes for 50 major commodities at the end of December.

34 products were lower, 12 were higher and 4 were flat.

In agriculture, wheat prices rose marginally by 0.1% compared to mid-December, corn was lower by 0.3%, live pigs were down 1.8%, soybeans were down 0.5%, soybean meal was up 1.6%.

Urea prices eased slightly by 0.4%, compound fertilizer was flat, and pesticides were down 0.3%.

US weekly feed grain exports to China slide for two consecutive weeks

Shipments of grains and oilseeds from the US to China during the week ending December 30 continued to fall for the second consecutive week, according to USDA data released late Monday.

Total exports of soybean, corn, wheat and sorghum to China during the week slumped more than 23% on the week to 815,859 tons, accounting for about 42% of total exports globally.

US soybean exports to China in the week flatlined at about 749,000 tons while corn exports halved on the week to 65,861 tons.

Wheat and sorghum exports from the US to China were minimal compared with the other two types, coming in at 637 tons and 490 tons respectively.

Futures trade volume in Dalian and Zhengzhou surges in 2021

The annual trade volume of futures contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange totalled 2.4 billion lots in 2021 calendar year, up 31.5% year on year. This accounts for 31.5% of all financial trading volume in China last year.

In December alone, there were 218 million contracts traded, a decrease of 5.1% from the previous month and was down about 13.5% from the same point last year.

Meanwhile, total trade volume in Zhengzhou Commodity Exchange for the year was 2.58 billion contracts, up 51.8% year on year, accounting for 34.4% of total national financial trading volume.

Zhenghzou’s exchange had 188 million contracts changing hands in December, down 17.3% on the month and 23.7% year on year.