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Chinese Soybean Imports Fell During June
USAgNet - 07/15/2019

China's soybean imports fell 11.5% in June from May, customs data showed on Friday, as the Sino-U.S. trade war and an outbreak of deadly African swine fever curb demand.

Reuters reports that China brought in 6.51 million tonnes of soybeans in June, down from 7.36 million tonnes in May, according to data from the General Administration of Customs. It brought in 8.7 million tonnes in June last year.

While Chinese buyers last year scooped up Brazilian supplies in anticipation of hefty tariffs on U.S. cargoes, importers this year were better prepared with stocks. At the same time, African swine fever has slashed the size of the pig herd and cut feed demand.

"The June figures were expected to be lower than last year due to the trade war and African swine fever," Xiang Bo, an analyst with Zheshang Futures, said before the data was released.

China slapped a 25% tariff on U.S. soybeans last July as part of a trade war between the world's two largest economies, bringing imports of U.S. beans to a halt until the two countries agreed to a truce on last December.

Chinese state firms resumed some buying of U.S. soybeans following the truce until trade relations deteriorated again in early May.

Importers again held off on purchases of U.S. cargoes before a large soybean sale to China was announced in late June, a day before a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Deadly African swine fever outbreaks across China have also killed over a million pigs, cutting demand for soymeal in the world's top pig producer.

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