The import of soybeans from United States to China has fallen to near zero levels in the months following trade war between both nations. Surprisingly the world’s largest soybean importer that gets its largest supplies from US has not imported any from local farmers during November. Customs data reveal the China has instead increased its imports from Brazil to replace the quantity it used to import from US. According to figures China purchased 5.07 million metric tons of soybeans from Brazil in November this year which reflects 80 % increase from usual 2.78 million metric tons that it imported last year.
Export of soybean from US plunged from 4.7 million tons in November last year to a mere 67000 metric tons in October this year. Every year after oilseed harvest in US would come to the market China as the largest buyer of the same would purchase the highest quantity and last year it bought nearly $12 billion worth of soybeans. But since Beijing has placed additional tariff of25 % on US imports in retaliation for tariff on Chinese goods by United States the buyers of soybean have shifted their allegiance to Brazil and are using imports from that nation to fulfill demand.
Though China started buying soybean from US during December this year after a truce was called out between premiers of both nations the hefty tariffs on US imports remain in place. China uses soybean in crushed form for animal feed to keep its massive livestock herds healthy. It has till date managed to maintain its required quantity of soybean inventories as buyers have replaced US imports with Brazilian shipments. The demand for animal feed has lowered this year as African swine fever led to decimation of pig herds. But as Brazilian soy is still in the middle of growing cycle they have less quantity to export.