Overview of China's soybean imports in 2010-2012

Filed Under: Agriculture | Viewed by: 2027 Persons

China used to be a net exporter in International trade of soybeans. In recent years, as the domestic oil processing industry are experiencing rapid development, the gap between the production and demand of raw soybean has become increasingly huge. Ever since 1996, China's soybean international trade has demonstrated a trend of reverse development, and has changed from a net exporter to a net importer. Subsequent yearly imports were growing by leaps and bounds.

According to authoritative statistics, from 2010 to 2012 China's soybean imports price and quantities both went up. Except that in the first quarter the import was influenced by the Spring Festival, the total soybean imports continued to rise during this quarter, which increased rapidly from 2010’s $ 25 billion to $ 34.9 billion in 2012.

In the meantime, China has become increasingly dependent on soybean imported from abroad; as a result, imported soybean prices are increasing every year. According to statistics, in 2010 the average import price of soybean was $ 0.46 / kg , in 2011 the average import price was $ 0.57 / kg , in 2012, $ 0.6 / kg , and in January 2013, it reached a record high of $ 0.63 / kg .

It is observed from 2010 -2012 China’s soybean imports monthly trend in the previous year in terms of quantities and price that over the past 3 years, Soybean import prices last year increased significantly year on year, of which 2012 imports significantly improved when compared with that of 2011, in March 2012 scored a year on year growth of 60 percent. Under such circumstances, China insisted on importing soybean from foreign countries mainly because that the prices of soybean in domestic market have been higher than that of the international market, in 2012 national interim storage of soybean’s listed price amounted to 4.6 yuan / kg, which, according to the 2012 average dollar exchange rate, was approximately 0.74 U.S. dollars / kg, higher than the 2012 soybean imports price, which was only $ 0.6 / kg. What’s more, soybean exports to the China are basically genetically modified soybeans, which is richer in oil than Chinese soybeans. The rate of oil yield of Chinese soybean is about 16.5%.

Currently the biggest advantage of Chinese soybeans is that they are non- genetically modified, but this advantage has not been well recognized by the market, the main reason is that although the domestic non-genetically modified soybeans are way better than imported soybeans in the aspect of germplasm, at present a competent market price system concerning GMO and non-GMO soybeans and related products still has yet been in shape. As a consequence, there are price gaps between China's non- genetically modified soybeans and imported soybeans. Therefore, non-GMO soybeans competitive advantage cannot enjoy a competitive advantage.

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