China, the world’s largest soyabean importer, is projected to import 82.66 million tonnes of soyabean by 2024, up 15.8% from 2014, according to China Agriculture Outlook 2015-24, a report released on 22 April.
The country’s total soyabean consumption is expected to amount to 96.71 million tonnes in 2024, up 12.7% from 2015, but its domestic soyabean output will only stand at 14.34 million tonnes in 2024, stated the report.
Experts pointed out that limited farmland and a rising population would force China to seek more soyabean imports from Argentina, Brazil, and the United States.
The country is still well placed to meet its needs in soyabean, rapeseed, and sorghum through imports to produce edible oil and animal feed, Ding Lixin, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Beijing, told local media.
While soyabean imports are projected to grow, staples such as corn will remain steady. Corn imports are unlikely to surpass 7.2 million tonnes in 2024, due to quota restrictions, the report stated.
Meanwhile, wheat imports will climb up to 2.8 million tonnes in 2014 from 1 million tonnes in 2014, and cotton imports in 2024 is estimated to stand at 2.08 million tonnes, down 14.8 % from 2014, because of lower Chinese textile exports and a greater use of cotton substitutes, the report stated.
Dairy imports are also expected to grow 3% year on year during the coming decade to 16 million tonnes, which is lower than the average of 15.5% growth during the past decade, according to the report.