China's agricultural commodity imports for January


There has been plenty of talk in the trade of China stepping up imports of ethanol.

So it has proved, with January imports soaring to 120,702 cubic metres, from 2,415 cubic metres in the first month of 2017, whcih saw the beginning of a new import tax regime, which removed preferential rates on exports from Brazil and the US.

Last month’s rise was driven by imports from the US, which saored to 91,283 cubic metres from 1 cubic metres in January 2017, with 29,406 cubic metres booked down to Pakistan, up from zero a year before.

Meanwhile, Chinese imports of sorghum - another commodity for which Chinese action has put trade under a bit of a cloud, with the start of an anti-dumping investigation against US exports - held pretty stable, at 564,517 tonnes.

Of these 560,517 tonnes were sourced from the US.

Sugar, on which China has also tightened import restrictions, proved more responsive to curbs, with purchases remaining subtantially lower year on year, after a 25% fall over full-year 2017.

On soybeans, while China’s imports rose strongly last month, as had been pre-reported, the origin of those supplies changed markedly.

While the US was still the most popular origin, at 5.82m tonnes, as it tends to be at that time of year (before Brazilian harvest suppliess come on stream in earnest) that reprented a fall of 14.2% year on year.

Imports from Brazil, meanwhile, soared 719.9% year on year to 2.07m tonnes.


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