BEIJING – China’s soybean imports from Brazil increased in April compared to the previous month, with tariff data on Friday showing delayed cargo arrivals.
China, the world’s top soybean importer, received 6.3 million tonnes of oilseeds from Brazil in April, up 120% from 2.87 million tonnes in March, according to the General Administration of Customs.
In the same month last year, China had more than 5.08 million tonnes from its top soybean supplier.
Bad weather delays Brazilian soybean procurement and exports, reducing shipments to China at the beginning of the year.
Arrivals of soybeans from Brazil began to increase in April and pre-booked cargo clearance customs is expected to be abundant in May.
China received 1.64 million tons of soybeans from the United States in April, its second-largest supplier, less than 3.37 million tons in March.
US supply figures were down from 2.15 million tonnes in the same month a year ago.
In the first four months of the year, China’s soybean imports from Brazil stood at 12.7 million tonnes, up from 6.42 million tonnes in the same period last year. According to customs data, shipments from the United States came in at 15 million tons, down from 21.27 million tons.
Chinese buyers are leaning towards US soybeans because, given Brazil’s declining harvest, they were cheaper.
Chinese crushers cut soybean purchases until September due to weak crush margins, traders said.
Soybean crush margins in China have declined since the beginning of March and were minus 282 yuan ($ 41.97) per tonne on Thursday.
($ 1 = 6.7192 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Haley Gu, Beijing Newsroom and Dominic Patton, edited by Himani Sarkar and Bradley Parrett)