Soyabean production in China is expected to reach a near-record level of 19M tonnes in the 2022/23 marketing year due to higher yields, according to a report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

Total oilseed production, including rapeseed, peanuts and cottonseed, was projected at 64.6M tonnes, an increase of 800,000 tonnes compared to the USDA’s previous forecast.

“Government incentives for oilseed production (particularly soyabeans), high prices for major oilseeds, and growing conditions in major soyabean-producing regions drove increases in area and yield,” the USDA said in the Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) Oilseeds and Products Update: People’s Republic of China November report.

The forecasted total planted area of 25.15M ha – 4.8% higher than the previous year – was unchanged from the USDA’s previous forecast.

Soyabean yield was estimated at 2.03 tonnes/ha, 4% higher than the previous year.

In October, China’s soyabean imports hit their lowest level for any month since 2014, according to customs data, reported by Reuters on 7 November.

According to the Reuters report, imports in October reached 4.14M tonnes, a drop of 19% compared to the previous year, due to a reduction in purchases due to high global prices and poor crushing margins.

China is by far the world’s largest consumer of soyabeans, with domestic consumption expected to reach 116M tonnes in 2022/23, up from 106M tonnes the previous year, according to the USDA report.