China, the world’s biggest soybean importer, almost tripled purchases from Russia amid a trade dispute with the U.S., the biggest producer.
Russia sold about 850,000 metric tons of soybeans to China from the start of the 12-month season in July through mid-May, according to Russia’s agriculture agency Rosselkhoznadzor. That’s more than during any season before and compares with about 340,000 tons sold during all of the previous period, Chinese customs data show.
China has already canceled several shipments from the U.S. in anticipation of tariffs on the country’s products. While Brazil is expected to take much of that market share, Russia is also benefiting.
Russian supplies make up less than 1 percent of the 97 million tons of soybeans that China is set to buy overseas this season, U.S. government data show. Russia is a net importer of the oilseed, the data show.
Russian soybean plantings in the far east, the region nearest China, will probably remain little changed during the next season, at about 1.4 million hectares, said Daniil Khotko, an analyst at the Institute for Agricultural Market Studies, or IKAR, in Moscow. They may expand by as much as 20 percent during the next two to three years, he said.