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China's soy imports from US jump in September as trade truce orders arrive

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China’s September soybean imports from the United States surged from a year ago, customs data showed on Friday, as cargoes bought earlier during an easing in the trade war between the world’s top two economies cleared customs.

 

The world’s top buyer of soybeans, brought in 1.73 million tonnes of the oilseed from the United States in September, up from 132,248 tonnes last year, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.

 

U.S. imports were up 3% from 1.68 million tonnes in August.

 

China last July slapped tariffs of 25% on a list of American products, including soybeans, in a tit-for-tat trade war with the U.S., curbing shipments from a country that is typically its second-largest supplier of the oilseed.

 

Chinese importers, however, returned to the U.S. market and completed several rounds of buying this year, following government instructions and a waiver on extra tariffs, part of a goodwill gesture aimed at ending the trade war.

 

Beijing this week offered major Chinese and international crushers another round of waivers from extra tariffs on imports of up to 10 million tonnes of U.S. soybeans. The waivers failed to trigger a flood of immediate buying however.

 

China brought in 4.79 million tonnes of soybeans from its top supplier Brazil in September, down from 7.59 million last year, the data showed.

 

Brazilian imports in September were down from 6.68 million tonnes in August, according to the data.

Shipments for the whole of September fell as an epidemic of African swine fever has decimated China’s pig herd, reducing demand for soymeal.

 

China’s pig herd in September was 41.1% smaller than a year earlier, while the number of sows fell 38.9% in the month, the agriculture ministry said last week.

 

The table below shows China’s soybean imports from Brazil, the United States, and Argentina in September 2019, according to the customs data.

 

China’s soybean imports 2019 (million tonnes)

 

Origin

Sept

% change yr/yr

Jan-Sept

% change yr/yr

U.S.

1.73

1,211%

10.15

-38.5%

Brazil

4.79

-36.9%

45.19

-9.8%

Argentina

0.98

563%

5.11

322.3%

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