Chinese soybean imports in March jumped 10 percent from the previous month, with shipments from the United States and Brazil reaching the world’s biggest oil seed buyer, customs data showed on Friday.
China imported 4.92 million tonnes in March, down from 4.46 million tonnes in February, according to data from the General Administration of Customs.
Imports, however, fell 13 percent from the same month last year.
“Some cargoes were delayed in February and they arrived in March. There were also shipments of the new Brazilian crop,” said Monica Tu, an analyst at Shanghai JC Intelligence Co Ltd.
“The numbers were still low compared to last year, like purchases, in general, remain limited due to tariffs,” Tu said.
China imposed a 25 percent tariff on US soybeans in July as part of a trade war between the world’s two largest economies.
Data for the first three months of 2019 indicate 16.75 million tonnes, down 14.4 percent from the year-ago quarter.
But the demand for oilseed crops is under strain as the African swine fever epidemic spreads through China, killing pigs and reducing the size of livestock.