BEIJING, Oct 20 (Reuters) - China's soybean imports from
Brazil fell 18% in September from a year earlier, customs data
showed on Wednesday, as poor crush margins limited demand.
The world's top buyer of soybeans brought in 5.936 million
tonnes of the oilseed from Brazil last month, down from 7.25
million in the corresponding period a year earlier, data from
the General Administration of Customs showed.
Crushers stepped up purchases last year from top supplier
Brazil as a fast recovering pig herd pushed up demand. But their
buying has slowed in recent months, as falling hog prices hit
China's hog margins <JCI-HOGM-SICH> remain in negative
territory, despite a pick-up in the past week.
Soybean brought in by Chinese crushers is processed into
feed ingredients for the livestock sector, and for use as
Imports from the United States stood at 169,439 tonnes, down
from 1.17 million tonnes a year earlier, after hurricane Ida hit
shipments by forcing the closure of some grains terminals on the
U.S. Gulf Coast.
The supply woes prompted Chinese buyers to turn to costly
beans from Brazil.
The impact could last for weeks during the peak U.S. export
season, pushing Chinese buyers to buy more Brazilian beans,
traders said, although U.S. cargoes are expected to pick up from
October's total soybean arrivals are expected to stay lower
than last year, fanning concern over supply of soymeal in China,
just as an unprecedented power crunch forced some crushing
plants to shut or cut operations.
Inventories of soybean and soymeal in China have both fallen
in the past week, says agriculture consultancy Myagric.com.
Crushers in Rizhao in the eastern province of Shandong now
make 61 yuan ($9.54) for each tonne of soybeans processed, up
from negative 650 yuan in June. <CNSOY-RZO-MRG>
($1=6.3912 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(Reporting by Hallie Gu and Shivani Singh; Editing by Himani
Sarkar and Clarence Fernandez)