China soyoil imports; Pork imports at 3-yr low;

Chart of the Day: China imports of Argentine soybean oil

Argentina announced that it would be raising export taxes on soybean meal and soybean oil by 3% in an attempt to curb inflation in the country.

In 2021, Argentina was the largest supplier of soybean oil to China, accounting for 41% of its imports.

Although China’s domestic soybean oil production is large at 16.5 million tons per year, imports have increased in recent years and represents around 6% of the country’s soybean oil supply.

Soybean oil prices in China have been rising rapidly and are at the highest level in over a decade and have been fueling higher food inflation. Additional export taxes in major suppliers could continue to push prices and food inflation over the next year.

Monthly pork imports plunge to 3-year low amid weak prices

China’s monthly pork imports continued to fall with the volume in February this year plunged to the lowest level in 34 months, according to latest customs data.

Monthly pork imports into China slid for seven consecutive months to 130,000 tons last month, the lowest level since March 2019.

The volume was down more than 13% from the previous month and was nearly 60% lower year on year.

China imported 280,000 tons of pork in the first two months of 2022 calendar year, accounting for only 40% of the volume during the same period last year.

Weaker imports were largely caused by a sharply lower pork price in China that diminished pork import margins due to excessive domestic supply.

Meanwhile, tightening monetary policies around the world amid rising global inflation also pushed pork import costs higher, which further undermine import opportunities.

China’s annual pork imports peaked at 4.38 million tons in 2020 calendar year as Covid outbreak disrupted domestic supply chain, and the country was still recovering from the damage from African swine fever that killed millions of hogs in 2018 and 2019.

However, as China rapidly rebuilt its herd in 2021, pork prices slumped to a record low and continued to hover at the low level.

China Jan & Feb agricultural imports update