Chinese soybean buyers shy away from Brazilian cargoes as prices jump: traders


Naveen Thukral, Reuters

August 8, 2019


SINGAPORE (Reuters) - A jump in prices for Brazilian soybeans is putting off buyers in China, two traders said, even as the rise was driven by expected demand from the world’s No.2 economy as its trade war with Washington intensifies.


Prices for Brazilian soybeans have climbed to $400 a ton, including cost and freight (C&F) to China, up from $380 last week before the latest round of escalation in the Sino-U.S. trade conflict, the traders said.


The rise was stoked by expectations Chinese buyers would boost soy purchases from places such as Brazil due to the trade tensions, with Beijing saying it would stop taking U.S. agricultural products in response to fresh tariffs on Chinese goods announced last week.


“Ever since the U.S. president announced a 10% tariff on Chinese products, Brazilian prices have risen,” said a trader on the sidelines of an industry conference in Singapore.


“Most Chinese importers are staying away from the market.”


Both traders, who have direct knowledge of Chinese buying, declined to be identified as they were not authorized to speak to media.


Soybean prices in Sorriso, at the heart of Brazil’s soy country in the state of Mato Grosso, closed at 62.31 reais ($15.67) per bag on Tuesday, 0.81% above the previous day and the highest level since June 18, according to price research center Cepea/Esalq.


Meanwhile, falling demand for animal feed ingredient soymeal as Africa swine fever spreads through many of China’s pig herds will likely dampen the nation’s appetite for soybeans over the longer term. The beans are often used to make meal...