China: Do They Depend On Us, Or Do We Depend On Them?

China is set to import around 42 MMT of soybeans in 2010, according to an article in the Chinese National Business Daily. That would be only marginally less than the 42.55 MMT imported during 2009 Chinese customs data shows.

The article says that China's edible oil consumption has grown by an average of 5-6 percent year on year, but that domestic oilseed production fails to meet such an increasing demand.

At 42 MMT, China will account for more than half of the world's entire soybean trade.

It's not just soybeans that China has a seemingly insatiable appetite for, rapeseed consumption is set to increase by 27% to 14.5 MMT in 2009/10 from just two years ago, according to the USDA.

This means that China's edible oil production has international dependence of more than 70 percent, the article notes.

That's a big number, which beggars the question do they depend on us, or do we depend on them? It seems that the answer is both, but in times of plenty they can expect to pick up some bargains along the way when they go shopping.

Record output from all the usual suspects in 2010 certainly could lead to some aggressive marketing once South America gets into full flow shortly.