China orders more than 4 million tons of US soybeans in June: export council
China orders US soybeans in June: export council
Published: Jul 14, 2020 09:58 PM


A combine and a grain cart work in a soybean field of Pellett family's farm in Atlantic, a small city in Iowa, the United States, Oct. 16, 2019.Photo:Xinhua

China is actively carrying out the phase one trade deal despite the coronavirus impact, including ordering more than 4 million tons of soybeans from the US in June, data obtained by the Global Times showed. 

In June, Chinese companies ordered 4.03 million tons of soybeans from the US, according to a statement sent by the US Soybean Export Council to the Global Times.

Of the total, 1.3 million tons will be shipped before the end of August, while 2.73 million tons will be shipped between September and the end of December.

"The coronavirus impact on China's soybean purchases has been limited, and China's soybean demand is relatively strong in general," noted the statement. 

The US Department of Agriculture also noted that soybean export sales in the first week of June were the largest in at least 16 months, with the majority headed to China, Reuters reported. China imported 665,590 tons of US soybeans in April, customs data showed.

Gao Lingyun, an expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, told the Global Times on Tuesday that it's possible China has been speeding up its purchases of US soybeans recently to take its share of responsibility in implementing the trade deal. 

"China's entire focus was on pandemic control from January to April, and purchases of US soybeans slowed. But now it is buying more as production comes back to normal and domestic demand rises," Gao said. 

Bilateral trade between China and the US in the first half of the year fell 6.6 percent year-on-year. From January to June, China's exports to the US plummeted 8.1 percent to 1.25 trillion yuan ($178.68 billion), while imports from the US were down 1.5 percent to 395.62 billion yuan, according to the customs data. The US is China's third-largest trading partner. 

"If it were not for China's efforts to implement the trade deal and purchase products from the US, the slump in US exports to China would have been much harder," Bai Ming, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, told the Global Times on Tuesday. 

China is also buying more US soybeans as domestic demand for the crop is increasing. According to the statement, China's hog industry is recovering from the influence of African swine fever, while the poultry industry remains large and relatively profitable. Those factors are pushing up demand for soybeans, an important raw material for hog and poultry feed. 

In total, China imported 45.04 million tons of soybeans in the first half of this year, up 17.9 percent on a yearly basis, customs data showed on Tuesday.