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China soy imports rise in Nov on seasonal demand

China soy imports rise in Nov on seasonal demand

Monday, 08 December 2014 10:35
Posted by Shoaib-ur-Rehman Siddiqui

BEIJING: China imported 6.03 million tonnes of soybeans in November, up 47.1 percent from a month ago as crushers increased purchases to meet peak seasonal demand, data from the General Administration of Customs showed on Monday.

Higher purchases by the world's largest importer of soybeans should help underpin benchmark Chicago prices of the oilseed that have plunged 21 percent so far this year, on track for their biggest annual decline in a decade.

"U.S prices are pretty cheap, which has spurred lots of imports. Also, (Chinese) soy plants increase crushing volume during this time of the year," said Li Lifeng, one analyst with an industry portal.

China's November imports, which were flat versus year-ago levels, brought arrivals for the first 11 months of 2014 to 62.87 million tonnes, up 12.3 percent from the corresponding period in 2013, figures showed.

Analysts expect the country's imports of the oilseed to climb further in December to a record monthly high of more than 7.5 million tonnes.

Cofeed sees soybean arrivals this month at 7.6 million tonnes while Shanghai JC Intelligence Co. Ltd (JCI) expects imports at between 7.5-7.8 million tonnes, higher than 7.4 million tonnes in December last year.

"But demand from livestock breeding is not as good as last year.

Margins for crushers have been shrinking, pressured by a drop of soymeal prices," said Li.

Falling soymeal prices are threatening to derail China's booming demand for US beans from February shipment as crush margins have started turning negative after holding mostly positive since early September, traders said.

Official customs data showed imports of vegetable oils in November were 400,000 tonnes, up 5.3 percent on month