BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s July soybean imports from the United States jumped threefold from the previous year, customs data showed on Sunday, as cargoes booked by Chinese state firms during a trade truce arrived.
China, the world’s top buyer of soybeans, brought in 911,888 tonnes of the oilseed from the United States, up from last year’s 308,127 tonnes. The figures were also up 48.3% from 614,805 tonnes in June.
Beijing slapped 25 percent tariffs on a list of U.S. products including soybeans in July last year in response to similar trade measures Washington had levied on Chinese goods, bringing U.S. soybean shipments to a virtual halt.
Chinese state firms resumed some buying following a bilateral truce in December, but tensions between the world’s two largest economies escalated again in recent weeks, throwing the market into further turmoil.
China’s July soybean imports from top supplier Brazil, meanwhile, came in at 6.42 million tonnes, down 8.9% from last year’s 7.04 million tonnes, but up 16.8% from 5.498 million tonnes in June.
China’s total soybean imports rose in July from the same month last year, as some U.S. cargoes arrived, and on better crush margins.
China’s soybean demand has been checked by a year-old African swine fever disease that has spread through the world’s top pig herd.
(Reporting by Hallie Gu, Muyu Xu and Kevin Yao; Editing by Stephen Coates)