China will likely receive just 105 cargoes loaded with around 6.9 MMT of soybeans during April, Beijing-based Cofeed told S&P Global Platts. That’s 700,000 MT lighter than what the country imported in 2019. Efforts to control the spread of coronavirus have delayed shipments of soybeans out of both South America and the U.S., according to Cofeed, who adds that some ports in Brazil are working with reduced staff.
Soybean shipment delays in March forced many Chinese crushers to suspend operations and prompted Chinese importers to buy a few cargoes from the U.S. Pacific Northwest in recent weeks. Cofeed warns crushers may have to again halt operations if shortages persist.
Soybean import arrivals are expected to improve to 8.9 MMT in May, with combined arrivals for June and early July expected to hit 18 MMT, according to Cofeed.