China soybean sowings to dip in 2024-25

Source:  World Grain

Lower domestic prices, high carry-in stocks from the previous year and better margins for corn are expected to reduce soybean planted area in China for the 2024-25 marketing year, according to a report from the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the US Department of Agriculture.

The report, released on March 20, said China’s soybean planted area is expected to decline from 10.05 million hectares in 2023-24 to 9.95 million hectares in the coming marketing year. As a result, production is forecast to dip slightly from 19.7 million tonnes to 19.6 million, the FAS said.

The country’s soybean output is expected to receive a boost in the coming years as the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs continues to expand planted area for genetically modified (GM) corn and soybeans. Although they have yet to reach full commercial cultivation status, 37 GM corn and 14 GM soybean varieties are eligible for planting in approved areas, and 26 corn and soybean seed production and operation licenses have been issued.

The Chinese government has made increasing self-sufficiency in grains and oilseeds a top priority, but it is still by far the world’s largest soybean importer. The FAS forecasts intake of 103 million tonnes in 2024-25, unchanged from the previous year.

“Increased soybean meal feed inclusion due to price advantages, stable demand in the poultry sector, and grown demand in aquaculture is expected to offset weaker demand in the swine sector due to forecast declining production in 2023-24 and 2024-25,” the FAS said.

Domestic consumption of soybeans, which has increased by nearly 50% over the past 10 years in China, is forecast at a record 120.8 million tonnes in 2024-25, according to the FAS.

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