Soybean imports to revisit previous high; 2021/22 domestic grain buying finishes

USDA sees China soybean imports to reclaim previous peak

USDA expects the soybean import volume for the world’s largest buyer China to rebound sharply next year due to stronger feed demand and lower ending stocks this year.

In its latest influential Wasde report on Thursday, the US made an even more bullish projection than its Chinese counterpart, pegging Chinese soybean imports in 2022/23 at 99 million tons, up nearly 8% year on year.

If realized, this will be the second highest annual import volume since 2020/21 marketing year during which China imported 102 million tons.

China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs placed its estimate at 95 million tons on the same day.

Higher imports next year are projected against the backdrop of stronger demand and lower carryout.

Soybean demand in the crushing industry is expected to rebound by 6 million tons to 95 million tons.

“Global protein meal consumption is expected to grow 3 percent in 2022/23, recovering from slow growth in the past two marketing years. Nearly half of the gains are in China,” USDA said.

Hog prices in China are expected to recover in the second half of 2021 calendar year, which will likely boost soymeal consumption in animal feed.

Meanwhile, global soybean ending stocks in 2021/22 are expected to fall almost 15% year on year to 85.24 million tons. China’s ending stocks are estimated to drop 1.3% during the period to 30.75 million tons.

2021/22 grain procurement near completion

Company procurements of Chinese domestic grains in the main growing regions are near completion, according to government data.

For corn harvested in the fall of 2021, total procurement in the last week of April dropped 8% from the previous period to 2.5 million tons, pushing the cumulative total volume in 2021/22 marketing year to 116.56 million tons.

China is expected to produce 272.55 million tons of corn in this marketing year.

Total purchases of corn, rice and soybeans this year from main growing regions have reached 185.24 million tons.

Soybean procurements ended in late March this year with a cumulative volume of 2.41 million tons out of a 16.4 million tons national production.

Rice procurements finished in late February with the total volume seen at 66.27 million tons.