China’s October US soybean imports up 200%, could continuously increase as goodwill gesture to incoming new administration: analyst

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/11/26 13:07:52

soybean Photo:Xinhua

China soybean imports from the US have surged almost 200 percent year-on-year in October, as the phase-one trade deal moves forward.

The large jump was also the result of a lower base last year when the two countries were in the middle of an intense trade fight, experts said, noting that as soybean producers in North America welcome harvest season, China may continuously increase imports from the US in the near future, spurred by domestic demand and as a goodwill gesture to incoming Biden administration.

According to customs data, in October, China's soybean imports from the US reached 3.4 million tons, jumping 196.4 percent compared with the same time last year. In September this year, the amount recorded stood at 1.17 million tons.

China's total soybean imports reached 8.68 million tons, up by 40.6 percent year-on-year. For the first 10 months this year, soybean imports increased by 17.7 percent, according to customs data. 

"The surge was mainly due to orders which followed the signing of first phase China-US trade deal arriving in China, this combined with the lower import amounts from the same time last year," Jiao Shanwei, editor-in-chief of, a website specializing in grain news, told the Global Times on Thursday.

Jiao noted that as North American soybeans entered harvest season, which will stretch to March next year, it's possible that China will purchase more US soybeans, as well as wheat and corn as a goodwill gesture to the incoming Biden administration. 

However, Jiao cautioned that due to tariff arrangements, the price of US soybeans remains less competitive compared with those from Brazil, thus preventing the countries' vast private purchasers from buying an even larger amount. 

China bought 4.233 million tons of Brazilian soybeans in October, an increase of 11.6 percent from 3.793 million tons in the same period last year, customs data showed.

If the US wants its soybeans to "regain dominance" in Chinese market, removal of tariffs would be a positive first step, Jiao said. 


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