Please Note: Blog posts are not selected, edited or screened by Seeking Alpha editors. China's Soybean Import Volumes were Increased by 55.2% YOY In April 2009 - In April 2009, China’s soybean import volumes were 3.71 million tons, up by 55.2% year on year. According to the previous statistics, the accumulative soybean import volumes reached 10.15 million tons in the first quarter of 2009 in China, increased by 30.4% year on year. Since the latter half of 2008, with the outbreak of international financial crisis, the soybean futures price in Chicago was dropped sharply. There was no exception for the soybean price in China and the soybean farmers suffered from serious hits. From November 2008, China began to carry out the government purchase soybean policies, which formed the high price. Under the circumstances of trade recession in the globe, mass soybeans flew into China at low price, making the monthly soybean import volumes in China keep over 3 million tons for successive five months.



The competitions between Chinese soybeans and the imported soybeans have spread to the major soybean producing area-Heilongjiang. The soybean oil and soybean dreg market in the domestic market in the major producing areas have been occupied by the genetically modified products. The domestic soybean price is 60 to 80 USD higher than that of the imported soybeans, leading to many processing enterprises with soybeans as the raw materials stop producing or retrain from producing in droves because of no money to be made in Heilongjiang.


In the first quarter of 2009, over 80% of the imported soybeans were from America, and the left were from Argentina and Brazil, most of which from above mentioned countries were the genetically modified soybeans. Compared with the domestic soybeans, the imported soybeans occupy the absolute advantages regardless of the price or the oil yield. There is less and less space left for the domestic soybeans in the field of soybean oil processing. By contrast, the domestic soybeans are low in the oil contents, unfavorable for the oil processing, but rich in the vitamin contents, which will have bright prospects in the soy sauces and soybean products.   


In 2001 before entry WTO, China had already absolutely opened up the soybean market. The four largest multinational grain giants, including ADM, Bungay, Cargill and Louis Dreyfus, began to enter China gradually, which gradually occupy the domestic soybean market through the genetically modified soybeans. The multinational enterprises have controlled 80% of the soybean sources of the imported soybeans and 70% of the actual soybean processing capacity. According to the statistics in 2008, there were about 100 large oil processing enterprises in China, and over 60 enterprises were merged or held by the foreign funded enterprises. The multinational grain dealers have permeated into various soybean fields, such as planting, trade and circulation etc.


In Chinese grain systems, the soybean is only one fully connected with the international market. In China, people regard the soybeans as the economic crops instead of grain crops. Due to the long industry chains, more deep processing steps and more added values, the soybean industry attracts special attentions of the foreign funds from planting to processing.


Source: China Research and Intelligence

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Eileen Gu