BEIJING, April 20 (Reuters) - China's March soybean imports
from Brazil plunged as rain delayed some shipments from the top
exporter, but its imports of the oilseed from the United States
more than quadrupled.
The world's biggest buyer of soybeans imported 315,334
tonnes from Brazil in March, down 85% from 2.1 million tonnes a
year earlier, data from the General Administration of Custom
Brazil is the world's biggest soybean exporter.
From the United States, China imported 7.18 million tonnes
of soybeans in March, up 320% from 1.71 million tonnes in the
China had stepped up purchases of soybeans and other U.S.
farm produce after the two sides signed an initial trade deal in
January last year. But buyers of the oilseed have turned to the
United States more than usual in 2021, as rains in Brazil slowed
the harvest there and delayed exports.
China's total imports of soybeans in March rose 82% to 7.77
Chinese crushers bring in soybeans to crush into soymeal to
feed livestock and for cooking oil. They had previously ramped
up buying of soybeans amid expectations of healthy demand from
the country's fast-recovering hog herd.
But a severe wave of African swine fever in recent months
has wiped out at least 20% of the breeding herd in northern
China, some estimates show, reducing soymeal demand.
Increased use of wheat in animal feed has also curbed
soymeal demand, analysts and traders say.
(Reporting by Dominique Patton and Shivani Singh; Editing by
Himani Sarkar and Rashmi Aich)