Chinese soyabean imports from Brazil dropped for the second consecutive year, according to data from China’s General Administration of Customs, reported by AgriCensus.

Soyabeans volumes from Brazil reached 54.39M tonnes in 2022, down 6.45% compared to the previous year.

Imports from other key suppliers Argentina and the USA also dropped due to reduced demand amid a year of COVID-related disruptions and higher domestic production weighing on imports, the 20 January report said.

China imported 29.5M tonnes of soyabeans from the USA in 2022, a drop of 8.48% compared to the previous year, while imports from Argentina fell by 2.08% to 3.65M tonnes.

Poor crushing margins for most of the year had also held back demand from Chinese crushers, with demand for feed from pig farmers also reduced due to poor farming margins, the report said.

However, China’s soyabean imports from its key suppliers increased in December, with imports from the USA notably rising 78.03% compared to the previous month to 6.02M tonnes, with the level 0.77% lower compared to the same period last year.

December volumes from Brazil reached 2.56M tonnes, 1.1% higher compared to the previous month and 21.2% higher compared to the previous year.

Meanwhile, at 1.46M tonnes, soyabean imports from Argentina in December rose by 26.5% compared to November. This total was 331.6% higher compared to the previous year, following China’s increased buying from Argentina in the last few months of 2022 due to Argentina’s ‘soya dollar’ policy which made prices of Argentine soyabeans more competitive.

At 10.56M tonnes, China’s December’s soyabean imports were 43.7% higher compared to November at due to slower cargo loading and longer clearance times at customs leading to delayed shipments in November and continuing into December.

For the 2022/23 marketing year, China’s agricultural outlook committee retained its estimates for soyabean imports at 95.2M tonnes, while raising production to 20.29M tonnes, AgriCensus wrote.