Soyabean imports in China reached record levels in 2020 due to improved crushing margins and a rise in demand from the pig sector, Reuters reported on 14 January.

China purchased 100.33M tonnes of soyabeans in 2020, a 13% increase on the previous year’s total of 88.51M tonnes, according to data from the General Administration of Customs.

In December, total imports reached 7.52M tonnes, a 27% drop from 9.54M tonnes in the same period the previous year and down from 9.59M tonnes in November.

“December soya imports were lower than expected, probably due to shipping delays,” Xie Huilan, analyst with agriculture consultancy Cofeed, told Reuters.

China had been rebuilding its pig herd following an outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) which had cut livestock numbers, Reuters said.

Demand was expected to remain high in 2021, with another new record forecast.

China’s 2020 US soyabean imports were up 56.3% from a year earlier in yuan terms, Reuters reported the country’s customs spokesperson as saying.