Jan 20 (Reuters) – China’s soybean imports from the United States dropped 10% in 2022, customs data showed on Friday, reducing the United States’ share of the world’s top soybean market to less than a third.
Total soybean imports by China last year dropped 5.6% to 91.08 million tonnes, due to high global prices and weaker demand earlier in the year.
But the United States, China’s No. 2 supplier, lost out more than Brazil, with shipments down 10% to 29 million tonnes, while arrivals from top supplier Brazil slipped 6% to 54.4 million tonnes.
Drought in Brazil early in the year had tightened supplies and pushed up global prices. Later on, low water levels in the Mississipi river hampered logistics in the United States, slowing exports of beans to China.
Brazil maintained its 60% share of the market, while the United States’ share has slipped slightly to under 32%, according to Reuters calculations based on the data.
Smaller supplier Uruguay was the main winner, with exports doubling from 866,000 tonnes in 2021 to 1.79 million tonnes last year. Argentina’s imports were little changed at 3.65 million tonnes.
Soybean arrivals in December from both Brazil and the United States were similar to last year’s level, at 2.56 million tonnes and 6.02 million tonnes, respectively, but arrivals from Argentina jumped to 1.46 million tonnes from just 340,000 tonnes a year earlier.
Argentina had offered its farmers a preferential exchange rate in September to boost soybean exports. (Reporting by Dominique Patton; Editing by Rashmi Aich)