China soy imports may drop as bird flu crimps feed demand
Beijing will have stockpiled more than 3 million tonnes of domestic soybeans this crop year when the programme ends in April. It also holds 2-3 million tonnes from the 2011 harvest and 800,000 tonnes from the 2012 harvest, analysts said.
Crushers are losing 500-600 yuan ($81-$97) for processing a tonne of soybeans, compared with a 600 yuan profit in the fourth quarter of last year during peak consumption and when some shipments were delayed.
The fat margin in the fourth quarter prompted China to purchase 27.7 million tonnes of U.S soy so far in the current marketing year to August, 2014. China bought a total of 21 million tonnes of U.S. soybeans the year before.
In addition to the purchases from the United States, Chinese buyers have also booked more than 20 million tonnes of new-crop South American beans.
($1 = 6.199 yuan)