A record amount of soyabeans was imported by China from Brazil in June according to the latest customs data, Reuters reported on 26 July.

The surge in imports was due to growing demand for soyabeans following the recovery of China’s pig herd from outbreaks of African swine fever, Reuters said.

Data from the General Administration of Customs released on 25 July showed that China bought 10.51M tonnes of soyabeans from Brazil in June, an increase of 91% from 5.5M tonnes the previous year. The June figures were also up 18.6% from May imports from Brazil at 8.86M tonnes.

Total soyabean imports in June were a record 11.6M tonnes due to Chinese processors taking advantage of lower Brazilian prices as better weather facilitated exports.

Soyabeans imports from the USA totalled 267,553 tonnes in the month, a drop of 56.5% from 614,805 tonnes the previous year. In May, imports had fallen 45.6% from 491,697 tonnes.

China was beginning to increase its US purchases and would need to step them up further to meet its pledge under a Phase One trade deal between the two countries, Reuters said.

Some Chinese crushers in the south had full inventories due to lower demand from the farming sector while crushers in the north were doing better as demand was picking up from recovering pig herds.

Inventories were expected to remain high in coming months as large shipments from Brazil continued, Reuters said.