Chinese customs data shows the country imported a record-setting 100.33 MMT of soybeans in 2020, an 11.82 MMT (13.3%) jump from 2019. China’s efforts to rebuild its hog herd and the Phase 1 trade deal helped fuel the surge. In December, China imported 7.52 MMT of the oilseed, which was down 2.02 MMT from year-ago. Analysts said shipping delays were likely to blame.
A soybean crusher cited by Reuters said, “Imports in the New Year are expected to hit a new record high,” noting that demand remains very strong.
China also imported a record-high 9.91 MMT of meat in 2020, a 60.4% surge from last year. December imports climbed 24.4% from November to 964,000 MT.
Of note, a Chinese customs spokesman indicated Chinese imports of U.S. ag products surged 66.9% in 2020 in yuan terms, with bean imports from the U.S. up 56.3%, cotton imports up 121.7%, pork imports up 223.8% and crude oil imports up 88.0%.