China’s soybean imports from Brazil in April surged from the previous month, customs data showed on Friday, with the arrival of delayed cargoes.
China, the world’s top importer of soybeans, received 6.3 million tonnes of the oilseed from Brazil in April, up 120% from 2.87 million tonnes in March, according to data from the General Administration of Customs.
The figures were also up from the 5.08 million tonnes China received from its top soybean supplier in the same month last year.
Bad weather delayed Brazil’s soybean harvest and exports, reducing shipments to China earlier in the year.
Soybean arrivals from Brazil began picking up in April and are expected to remain abundant in May as previously booked cargoes clear customs.
China received 1.64 million tonnes of soybeans in April from the United States, its second-largest supplier, down from 3.37 million tonnes in March.
The figures for U.S. supplies were also down from 2.15 million tonnes in the same month a year earlier.
In the first four months of the year, China’s soybean imports from Brazil stood at 12.7 million tonnes, up from 6.42 million tonnes in the same period a year before. Shipments from the United States came in at 15 million tonnes, down from 21.27 million tonnes, according to customs data.
Chinese buyers turned to U.S. soybeans because, with the Brazilian crop diminished, they were cheaper.
Chinese crushers have slowed down soybean purchases for the period until September because of weak crush margins, traders said.
Soybean crush margins in China have plunged since early March and were at minus 282 yuan ($41.97) per tonne on Thursday.