Soybean shipments from Brazil, the U.S., Argentina and Paraguay totaled 22.25 million metric tons in April and May, 6.3 percent higher than the same period last year, the Hamburg-based researcher said in an e-mailed report. Increasing demand from buyers including the European Union, Egypt, Turkey and Indonesia made up for a 4.8 percent drop in Chinese imports from the biggest suppliers during those two months, according to the report.
Shipments of soybeans from the top four exporting countries since the marketing year began in September jumped to 82.3 million tons by the end of May, a record for that time period and 27 percent higher than the same time last year, Oil World said. Even though Chinese buying slowed in the prior two months amid increasing stockpiles, its imports since September totaled 54.38 million tons, up 32 percent from the same time last year, according to the report.
“Soybean crushings and net exports of the four major supplying countries -- the U.S.A., Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay –- showed a spectacular increase so far this season,” Oil World said. “This was necessary to satisfy the unusually strong growth in world import requirements.”
Soybean futures on the Chicago Board of Trade, the global benchmark, have declined about 5 percent in the past year amid prospects for record global production.
Chinese soybean imports may increase in June to as much as 7.5 million tons, “a near record” and up from 6.9 million tons at the same time last year, Oil World said. That compares with combined purchases of 14.04 million tons in April and May, down from 14.75 million tons last year.
Exports of soybean oil from the top four shipping countries rose to 4.486 million tons from October through May, 5.2 percent higher than a year earlier, Oil World said. India’s purchases jumped 88 percent to 1.279 million tons, making it the world’s biggest importer. Iran, normally a major buyer of soybean oil, didn’t import any during April and May amid large stockpiles and attractive prices for competing sunflower oil. Purchases by China and Egypt have also been “considerably reduced” recently, according to the report.