China’s imports of U.S. soybeans contracted to the lowest level in three months in October as the world’s biggest buyer delayed unloading of American soybeans at its ports.
China’s inbound shipments from the U.S. slumped to 1.15 million tons from 1.73 million tons in September, but were well above the 66,955 tons in October last year, customs data show.
The nation bought 3.8 million tons of soybeans from Brazil, the largest supplier, down from 4.79 million tons in September and 6.53 million tons in October last year as old crop supplies dwindled.
Imports from Argentina were 959,936 tons, down from 976,486 tons in September and a mere 33,200 tons in October last year.
China may see imports this month climb to more than 8.5 million tons after the October delays, which could ease shortages at some crushers, according to the China National Grain and Oils Information Center.
About 1.8 million tons of soybeans, mostly for state reserves, were being held up at China’s ports, people familiar with the matter said this month. Local buyers have to pay a hefty deposit to customs before they can collect refunds on the 30 percent retaliatory tariffs.