Fish farms help China soybean imports recover

Soybean shipments to China are increasing again amid demand for poultry and aquaculture feed after purchases from the biggest buyer dropped earlier this year because of bird flu, a Bloomberg News survey shows.

Imports in the 12 months through 30 September may reach 66 million metric tons (MT), compared with 60 million tons a year earlier, according to the median of the survey of seven China-based researchers and crushers. The U.S. Department of Agriculture projected Chinese imports of 69 million MT, it said last week.

Demand dropped in the first quarter following outbreaks of H7N9 avian influenza and as economic growth slowed, causing losses in the animal husbandry and soybean crushing industries. That raised concerns that some traders may cancel orders, with the U.S. Soybean Export Council last month estimating possible defaults on as much as 2 million MT of cargoes.

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