Pakistan is forecast to import a record 2.6M tonnes of soyabeans in 2018/19 according to a 28 November Global Agricultural Information Network report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The figure is a huge increase from last year’s soyabean import of 400,000 tonnes.

“Pakistan’s role as a major importer of soyabeans continued in 2017-18, with imports rising to a record 2.2M tonnes, up from zero only a few years ago,” the USDA said. “The low tariff on soyabeans versus soyabean meal has been instrumental in the shift, thereby increasing throughput in the domestic crushing sector.

“Additionally, the development and modernisation of Pakistan’s poultry and dairy sectors are generating new demand for high-protein feed ingredients as inclusion of soyabean meal in rations increases and overall demand rises.”

The USDA noted that there were severe drops in soyabean meal imports with just 3,552 tonnes in 2017/18 compared with 370,000 tonnes in 2016/17.