Imports of soyabean and vegetable oils are expected to reach record levels in China for the 2019/20 marketing year, AgriCensus reported on 9 October from the latest estimates of the country’s agriculture ministry.

Soyabean imports for the year were estimated to total nearly 98M tonnes, up from the earlier estimate of 96M tonnes, according to the Chinese Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimate (Casde) for October 2020.

This meant that China’s soyabean imports during September 2020 would need to reach at least 9M tonnes in order to reach the annual target.

China had already imported 88.74M tonnes between October 2019 and August 2020, according to China customs data.

For the 2020/21 marketing year, all estimates were unchanged from the previous month with imports at nearly 95.1M tonnes and domestic output at 18.82M tonnes.

“The US reduced new crop soyabean yields, but gross output is still higher than the previous year,” the report said.

“South American soyabeans have gradually been planted and the area is to increase further. It is expected that the situation of global soyabean supply for the new marketing year is still sufficient.”

Vegetable oil imports for 2019/20 were also estimated to grow year-on-year to 9.27M tonnes, up from 8.96M tonnes in the previous year, against a backdrop of falling rapeseed imports,

Imports for 2020/21 had been left unchanged at 8.45M tonnes, with domestic production being maintained at 27.65M tonnes.

In China, the marketing year starts in October each year and ends the following September.