China To Import Fewer Soybeans As Harvest Starts

Chinese soybean imports are expected to slow for the remainder of the year as the country's soybean production takes off, state media report.

"China's soybean imports in the next few months will not be as heavy as the volume seen entering the country in August," soybean market expert Zhang Liwei, from the National Grain & Oil Information Center (NGOIC), told Xinhua news agency.

"This is because a much larger output is expected from the harvest of this year's domestic soybean crop, which is due to start later this month, compared to last year. However, we still expect this year's soybean crushing volumes to climb on previous months."

China imported 3.83 million tons of soybean in August. The Ministry of Commerce earlier this month predicted that the country's soybean imports for September would be down 26.6 percent on the August volume to 2.81 million tons.

According to the NGOIC, China's soybean production in the 2008/2009 season is expected to increase by 3 million tons from the previous season to 17.5 million tons.