China’s purchases of Brazil soybeans at 5m tons in April

China’s soybean imports from Brazil surged in April from the previous month, customs data showed on Thursday, boosted by the arrival of cargoes that were ordered earlier in the year but delayed after rain hit the Brazilian crop, Reuters reports.

The world’s top importer of soybeans brought in 5.08 million tons of the oilseed from leading supplier Brazil in April, sharply up from only 315,334 tonnes in March, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.

But the figure was still below 5.939 million tons in the same month last year.

Chinese crushers stepped up purchases of soybeans earlier this year in expectation of increasing demand for animal feed from the steadily recovering pig sector. Rain, however, delayed the harvest and exports from Brazil.

Buyers turned to the United States to fill the gap, with China taking 2.15 million tons of U.S. soybeans in April, more than three times the 665,591 tons shipped in same month a year ago, but well down from 7.18 million tonnes in March.

“China made purchases of U.S. soybeans when weather delayed cargoes in Brazil,” said an industry source who follows the soybean market closely.

“Brazilian soybeans should be arriving in May in a concentrated manner,” said the source, who declined to be named as she was not authorized to talk to the media.

China’s soybean imports in April from all origins were 7.45 million tons, up 11 perent from the previous year in expectation of strong demand from the livestock sector.

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