China’s imports of Argentine soyabeans increased by 17.8% in November compared to the same month the previous year following the South American country’s introduction of its Export Increase Programme, known as the ‘soy dollar’ policy, according to data from China’s General Administration of Customs (CGAC) reported by AgriCensus.

Soyabean imports from Argentina jumped from the previous month’s total of 160,987 tonnes to 1.15M tonnes in November amid China’s increased purchases in September and October when soyabeans of Argentine origin were significantly cheaper than those from competitors Brazil and the USA as a result of the ‘soy dollar’ policy, the 20 December report said.

The Argentine government introduced its ‘soy dollar’ policy as a temporary stimulus measure to encourage farmer selling by guaranteeing an improved exchange rate for soyabean producers.

Increased imports from Argentina were accompanied by reduced purchases from neighbouring Brazil, with volumes to China falling to 2.54M tonnes in November – a drop of 9.3% - compared to the previous month.

On a year-on-year basis, soyabean imports from Brazil also fell by 32.4%, the report said.

China’s imports from the USA also increased in November to 3.38M tonnes compared to the previous month’s total of 773,167 tonnes but were still 7% lower compared to the year before.

Total soyabean imports by China in November reached 7.35M tonnes, an increase of 77.5% compared to the previous month’s total of 4.14M tonnes, AgriCensus wrote. However, the total was 14% lower than the same period the previous year due to slower cargo loading and longer clearance times at customs leading to lower-than-expected arrivals in November.

Soyabean shipments were forecast to increase further in December, with China’s National Grain and Oil Information Center (CNGOIC) expecting imports to total around 10M tonnes in the month.