The U.S. ag attache in China has left its forecast for 2013-14 soybean production unchanged at 11.8 MMT, but sees soybean imports exceeding 67.5 MMT, up from 60 MMT in 2012-13. USDA currently estimates Chinese soybean imports in 2012-13 at 59.5 MMT and 2013-14 imports at 69 MMT. If USDA takes the recommendation from the attache, it will lower its Chinese soybean import forecast in the November Supply & Demand Report.
The attache, however, says stronger soybean demand ahead for 2013-14 compared to the previous season will be driven by a recovery in livestock production and expected tighter soybean stocks. It also states "reasonable" international prices behind the likelihood end-users will rebuild stocks for the "huge crush sector."
The attache also reports government auction of soybean reserves was suspected after the final auction on October 17. "As of October 17, 2.43 MMT of reserve stock had been sold at nine auctions, accounting for 54% of the total soybeans offered. The impact on soybean imports from the weekly state sales should be limited because the old stocks were either sold to inland crushers that only process domestic soybeans, or to food companies whose products cannot utilize imported GMO soybeans," state the report.