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Chinese soyabean imports from Brazil in the first two months of 2024 surged by over 200% compared to the previous year to 6.96M tonnes, according to figures from the country’s General Administration of Customs (GACC) reported by AgriCensus.

Brazilian imports comprised 53.4% of the total 13.04M tonnes imported by China in the January-February period, the 20 March report said.

This contrasted with the previous year’s volumes when Brazilian imports comprised 15.5% of China’s soyabean imports at 2.24M tonnes and the USA was the top soyabean supplier at 9.84M tonnes of the total 14.4M tonnes imported.

A record soyabean harvest in Brazil had led to Chinese buyers turning to the South American for supplies in a period that was typically dominated by US soyabeans, AgriCensus wrote.

In the January-February period this year, China’s soyabean imports from the USA fell by 49.6% to 4.96M tonnes, with its import share falling to 38.03% compared to 68.2% the previous year.

China was also expected to import more soyabeans from South America in the months after the report when the soyabean harvest will take place in Brazil and Argentina, with the China National Grain and Oil Information Centre (CNGOIC) estimating soyabean imports for March at 6.5M tonnes and averaging around 10M tonnes/month from April-June.

Meanwhile, Brazil had also overtaken the USA as China’s leading supplier of corn during the period, the report said.