Heavy rainfall during two typhoons in China in late July and early August had a limited effect on key soyabean producing regions and minimal impact on estimated production, according to a report by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

“Although both Heilongjiang and Inner Mongolia were affected, the heaviest rains appear to have spared most soyabean-producing regions of the respective provinces,” the USDA said in the 7 September Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) report.

According to the August China Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimate (CASDE) Report, the impact on soyabeans in north-east provinces was limited and its forecast of a slight gain in yield in the 2023/24 marketing year (MY) was maintained.

A National Agricultural Meteorological Monthly Report published on 7 August estimated soyabean yields would remain in line with the previous year, with some regions of Heilongjiang and Inner Mongolia showing a slight decline.

The USDA reduced its forecast for soyabean production in China for the 2023/24 marketing year to 19.7M tonnes – 100,000 tonnes lower than its previous estimate, the USDA’s China - Oilseeds and Products Update said.

Lower production is based on an unchanged planting area of 10.05M ha and a slight drop in yield due to flooding and other impacts related to heavy rains earlier in the year, according to the report.

“The moderate expansion in planting area compared to MY 2022/23 is largely driven by crop rotation, intercropping, and utilisation of marginal land in response to the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) various subsidy programmes,” the USDA said.

Forecasts from several PRC-affiliated organisations and industry sources indicated a slight increase in soyabean planted area in the 2023/24 marketing year, while the August China Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimate (CASDE) Report maintained its projection of total soyabean planted area at 10.44M ha for the period.

The USDA lowered its forecast for total oilseed production in 2023/24 to 65.3M tonnes, a reduction of 0.4M tonnes compared to the previous report due to smaller cottonseed production and lower soyabean production due to heavy rains and flooding in several regions.