China’s demand for soybeans keeps dropping, thanks to government efforts to restructure animal feed
Published: Dec 26, 2023 11:43 AM

Soybean Photo: VCG

Soybean Photo: VCG

China's agriculture ministry has projected that the country's demand for soybeans as animal feed may drop by 9.1 million tons for the whole year of 2023 thanks to the country's efforts to reduce and substitute the use of soybean meal in animal feed to shore up food safety.

The country's animal feed output reached 287 million tons in the first 11 months the year, up 4 percent year-on-year. 

However, the use of soybean meal as animal feed dropped by 4.44 million tons, or down 11 percent year-on-year, according to data released by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs on Monday.

For the full year of 2023, the country's total animal feed consumption is expected to reach 476 million tons, of which the proportion of soybean meal used in feed is estimated to drop by 1.5 percentage points compared to a year ago, it said, noting that demand for soybeans used for animal feed is set to drop by 9.1 million tons.

Since the beginning of 2023, the ministry has been implementing a three-year action plan for the reduction and substitution of soybean meal in animal feed as part of the efforts to shore up food safety and the stable supply of major agricultural products. The measures include adopting new technologies and applications, while adjusting supply chain structure in using protein feed resources such as plants and microorganisms, according to the ministry.

Between January and November this year, China's soybean imports grew by 13.3 percent year-on-year to reach 89.63 million tons, according to data released by the General Administration of Customs.

In 2022, China's soybean imports amounted to 91.08 million tons, a drop of 5.44 million tons from the previous year, marking the second year in a row that saw soybean imports fall.