China's August soy imports jump as buying from Brazil continues

BEIJING (Reuters) - China imported 9.12 million tonnes of soybeans in August, up 15 percent from July, according to Reuters calculations based on official data released on Saturday, as buyers continued to buy from Brazil after Beijing imposed tariffs on U.S. shipments.

FILE PHOTO - Employees working at cargo ship Kypros Land which is loading soybeans to China at Tiplam terminal in Santos, Brazil, Merch 13, 2017. Picture taken March 13, 2017. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker

August figures were up from last year’s 8.44 million tonnes.

“The market continues to buy Brazilian soybeans. But there is only a certain number of soybeans out there, and inventories here (China) are high,” said Tian Hao, senior analyst with First Futures, speaking before the August data was released.

Beijing imposed a 25 percent tariff on a list of U.S. products totaling $34 billion in value, including soybeans, on July 6, in response to U.S. penalties on Chinese goods worth the same amount.

Soybeans, crushed to make cooking oil and the protein-rich animal feed ingredient soymeal, were the biggest U.S. agriculture export to China last year at a value of $12.3 billion, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Chinese buyers had already been heavily purchasing soybeans from Brazil before Beijing’s hefty taxes on U.S. cargoes took effect, on worries that supplies will tighten up and prices will rise in the fourth quarter.

In July, the buying spree ebbed after China’s national soybean and soymeal stocks cli....

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