BIMCO: Soybean Harvest, US Exports Resume

- Oct 28, 2020-

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After the US-China trade war interrupted US soybean exports for several years, the first 7 weeks of the 2020/2021 marketing year (i.e. September 1 to August 31) saw the strongest exports ever. As of October 15, the United States had exported 11.4 million tons of soybeans, an increase of 85.3% over the first seven weeks of the previous marketing year. This is also 19.4% higher than the previous record of 9.6 million tons of soybeans in the 2017/2018 marketing year.


   The average weekly export volume so far this year is 1.6 million tons, or 22 Panamax freighters (75,000 tons). This is almost twice the average of 880,692 tons (12 tons) per week last year.


Peter Sand, chief shipping analyst at BIMCO, said: "The U.S. soybean season has a very strong start, breaking all previous records and marking the recovery of business between the U.S. and Chinese soybean importers. Previously, due to the trade in July 2018 During the war, China imposed tariffs on U.S. soybeans, causing trade to be suspended for many years."


He said: "In an unprecedented year, the dry bulk trade-and the overall volume of China's soybean imports-returned to normal and strong, eliminating some dry bulk ship owners due to the trade war and the COVID-19 epidemic. The uncertainty faced."


   China returns to the US soybean market


   The return of Chinese buyers to the US market is the main reason for the strong start of the quarter. In the week ending October 15, the United States exported 2.5 million tons of soybeans. Among them, 77.9% (less than 2 million tons) flowed into China. In the first seven weeks, total soybean exports to China reached 8.2 million tons, accounting for 71.9% of the total US soybean exports.


   The first phase of the China-US agreement includes China’s commitment to increase agricultural imports from US$18.6 billion to US$18.6 billion in 2019. The probability of achieving this goal is almost zero. In the first eight months of this year, US exports only reached 28.8% of the goal. However, soybeans are an important commodity transaction, and any agricultural product category that promotes a decline in trading volume will provide much-needed dry bulk shipping in the last month of the agreement, even if it will not be sufficient to fulfill the agreement.


"Compared with before the trade war, exports to China have increased by nearly 30%, while exports to the rest of the world have remained stable. From a ton-mile perspective, this has given a huge boost to the shipping industry because China’s additional tons have led to a disproportionate increase in ton-mile demand," Sand said.


  Soybean money is rolling


   In January and February this year, China's soybean imports started slowly, but the overall performance was strong, and imports from Brazil are also rising. Compared with the first three quarters of 2019, Brazil's soybean exports to China this year have increased by 25.9%.


   Since the beginning of this year, Brazil has exported 57.8 million tons of soybeans to China, accounting for 72.8% of Brazil’s total soybean exports. Although the total growth is strong, this is the lowest share since the start of the trade war and is lower than the peak level of 82.3% in 2018. So far this year, Brazil’s total soybean exports to all destinations have increased by 30.5% to 79.3 million tons.


   Overall, in the first nine months of this year, China’s total soybean imports increased by 15.5% year-on-year to 74.5 million tons, an increase of 10 million tons over the same period last year (134 Panamanian ships loaded).


“Like other dry bulk commodities, China has become more important in the year of this pandemic because China’s demand has increased compared to the decline in demand in other parts of the world. Affected by swine fever, soybeans were previously in China. Demand has fallen, and although it is now recovering, it is still lower than it was a few years ago.” Sand added.


"However, given the strong start of the US export season and the outstanding sales performance, the strong import momentum seems to continue for the rest of the year. Current sales are 16.7 million tons, compared with only 4.6 million tons at this time last year. "


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Departure Port Destination Port Shipping Company 20GP 40GP 40HC Validity Period Details

Yantian, Shenzhen Memphis ZIM 0 8350 8900 2020-09-18-2020-10-31 Details

Yantian, Shenzhen Kansas City ZIM 0 8350 8900 2020-09-18-2020-10-31 Details

Yantian, Shenzhen New York ZIM 0 9350 9900 2020-09-18-2020-10-31 Details

Yantian, Shenzhen Dallas ZIM 0 8350 8900 2020-09-18-2020-10-31 Details

Yantian, Shenzhen Chicago ZIM 0 8350 8900 2020-09-18-2020-10-31 Details

Yantian, Shenzhen Seattle HPL 2900 4100 4100 2020-10-15-2020-10-31 Details

Yantian, Shenzhen Tacoma HPL 2900 4100 4100 2020-10-15-2020-10-31 Details

Yantian, Shenzhen Long Beach HPL 2900 4100 4100 2020-10-15-2020-10-31 Details

Yantian, Shenzhen Long Beach HPL 2900 4100 4100 2020-10-15-2020-10-31 Details

Yantian, Shenzhen Long Beach HPL 2900 4100 4100 2020-10-15-2020-10-31 Details



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