China coarse grain import falls; USDA cuts China soybean demand; Futures close

China 22/23 coarse grain import falls amid weaker Argentina, US exports

Chinese imports of coarse grains including corn, barley, and sorghum are expected to fall sharply year on year due to weaker exports from key suppliers such as Argentina and the US, the USDA said in its influential report this week.

The estimate of China’s coarse grain imports in the 2022/23 marketing year was cut by 0.5 million tons to 32.45 million tons, down nearly 22% compared to the last marketing year.

Lower coarse grain imports were mostly driven by fewer sorghum cargo purchases from China.

“Sorghum imports are lowered for China, reflecting export cuts for Argentina and the United States,” said the USDA.

The projection for coarse grain demand in China was reduced by 0.5 million tons to 319.85 million tons, while the domestic production estimate was unchanged at 285.5 million tons.

USDA lowers China 22/23 soybean demand amid slow imports

The USDA lowered its forecast of China’s soybean demand in the 2022/23 marketing year by 1 million tons citing slow paces for imports and crushing activities.

The world’s largest soybean importing country is expected to consume 115.3 million tons of soybeans in the current marketing year, down 1 million tons from the estimate last month.

But the new projection is still up more than 7% from the previous marketing year.

The lower expectation for soybean demand in China was largely triggered by slow soybean imports and weak crushing activities in 2023 so far.

“China’s crush is lowered on slower-than-expected pace to date,” said the USDA.

Chinese crushers have struggled with sourcing beans for February and March shipments from Brazil because of harvest delays and constant rainfall.

While crushing activities were held back by the shortage of beans and long national holidays in January.

As demand is projected to be lower, China’s soybean ending stocks in 2022/23 is expected at 32.33 million tons, up 1 million tons from the previous outlook.

“Global soybean ending stocks are reduced 1.5 million tons to 102.0 million, with lower South American stocks partly offset by higher stocks for China,” the USDA added.

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