Soybean imports from Brazil jump; Wheat price firm; US sales to China rebound

Monthly soybean imports from Brazil at 8-mth high, US volume slumps

Chinese imports of Brazilian soybeans last month gained significantly from the previous month to reach the highest level since August 2021, based on latest customs data.

China’s customs authority cleared more than 6.3 million tons of soybeans from Brazil in April this year, more than doubled from the volume in March.

On a yearly basis, imports in April this year were up 24%.

Imports from Brazil spiked last month as shipments left dock as early as February this year were delayed at Chinese waters in March due to port congestions as many areas on the east coast of China adopted lockdown or other Covid restrictions.

In contrast, imports of US soybeans last month more than halved from the previous month to 1.64 million tons, which was also down nearly 24% compared to April last year.

The trend of lower imports from the US and higher imports from Brazil has been historically identical as Chinese purchases shift to the South American country in the first quarter of each calendar year when the new harvest is normally underway.

Wheat prices firm amid coming harvest

Local wheat reserve auctions hit a new high price yesterday.

1st class white wheat sold for 3485 yuan/ton. Accounting for warehouse fees, transportation costs, and other fees, the price was estimated at 3,600 yuan/ton. Wheat in Jiangsu sold for 3,320 yuan/ton with the FOB cost estimated at 3,400 yuan/ton.

US corn, soybean sales to China spike, sorghum cargoes cancelled

The US sold 59,300 tons of 2021/22 corn crops to China during the week of May 6-12 compared with no sales the week before, according to USDA data.

For 2022/23 crops, US net export sales to China surged to 544,000 tons last week, accounting for almost all new crop corn sales globally.

Soybean net sales to China also improved with 2021/22 old crop totalling 392,600 tons and 2022/23 new crop at 8,000 tons.

Meanwhile, sales of 2021/22 sorghum to China was down slightly week on week to 67,300 tons and China also cancelled 63,100 tons during the week.

A national holiday in China during the first week of May is likely the reason for the sharp week-on-week increase of sales.