China’s Ministry of Agriculture says the country imported close to 82 million tons of soybean products in 2015, accounting for about 88 percent of its total demand. Many of the imported soybean products had been genetically modified. The ministry says China will plant more non-GMO soybean and improve yields to fill the gap between supply and demand…Full Article: Apr 2016

Key Points

  • By 2020, China hopes to be cultivating at least 9.3 million ha of soybeans (equal to roughly 2012 and 2013 levels).
  • In 1996, China became the world’s largest net soybean importer (~1 million MTs).

ChinaAg Comments

  • In April 2016, China’s Ministry of Agriculture announced it would increase soybean production at the expense of corn production. The Ministry of Agriculture also noted that soybean production will be promoted on farmland that has historically grown soybeans (e.g. Heilongjiang Province).
  • In 2013, China cultivated soybeans on 9.2 million ha of land. Heilongjiang Province was China’s largest soybean grower, accounting for 2.5 million ha or 27% of the country’s total sown area.
  • From 2000 to 2013, China’s soybean imports increased from 10.4 million MTs to 63.3 million MTs, with 2013 being the first time purchases surpassed the 60 million MT mark. In general, the U.S. has been China’s top supplier, but Brazil overtook the U.S. in 2006 and 2013. Both the U.S. and Brazil have exported more than 20 million MTs of soybeans to China since 2011, with Brazil exporting more than 30 million MTs in 2013 (vs. the U.S’s 22 million MTs).
  • From 1978 to 2011, Chinese soybean production volumes peaked in 2004 at 17.4 million MTs and had since stagnated to annual output of 14 to 15 million MTs. In China, soybean production is primarily centered in the northeast part of the country. In 2011, Heilongjiang Province produced 3.3 million MTs of soybeans, while neighboring Inner Mongolia Region produced 1 million MTs.
  • In 2001, Chinese soybean cultivation peaked at 13.2 million ha of land.

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