(Yicai Global) July 6 -- Brazil is on its way to surpassing the US as the world's biggest soybean producer this year as its shipments of the protein-rich livestock feed to China jumped in May.
China imported 8.9 million tons of soybean from Brazil in May, an annual gain of 41 percent and the highest monthly volume since May 2018, according to China's customs data.
The Brazilian Association of Vegetable Oil Industries forecast that the South American country will outstrip the US in this regard this year, according to its report from last month. Brazil's annual soybean output will increase by 3.8 percent from 2019 to a record number of 124.5 million tons, it added.
The uptick is supported by reasons on both sides of the border. Brazil has had a good harvest while the Covid-19 pandemic has not blocked transport, Mi Jian, an associate researcher at the Development Research Center of the State Council of China, told Yicai Global yesterday.
The Brazilian real has lost 40 percent of its value since January, bringing a handsome profit for Chinese refineries to import soybeans from there, Mi added.
In China, the pig breeding industry has been recovering quickly since the end of last year, according to Mi. Last year, the country's African swine fever outbreaks caused a major cut in inventories.
China consumes more soybean than any other country, or over 100 million tons each year. Besides the major producers of the US and Brazil, some of the supply comes from Argentina. The harvesting period in the US usually runs between September and October while that of the South American countries is between March and May.
Editors: Dou Shicong, Emmi Laine