Can African soybeans help ease China’s reliance on US to feed insatiable demand?
Regulation & Compliances
Grains, Cereal & Legumes
Market & Price Trends
Published Nov 22, 2023
South Africa has made its first-ever export of soybeans to China following a protocol signed last year granting access to the Chinese market. The agriculture minister referred to the successful shipment as a testament to collaboration between the government and private sector. While Africa has the potential to become a major source of grain supplies for China, the chief economist of the Agricultural Business Chamber of South Africa suggests that Africa's contribution to China's soybean imports is likely to remain small for the foreseeable future.
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According to the South African agriculture department, 18 companies and 162 storage facilities have been approved to export soybeans to China. “The successful shipment is a testament to the possibilities of growing the cereal and oilseed sector through successful collaboration between the government and private sector,” Agriculture Minister Thoko Didiza told the South African press. China has the world’s largest number of pigs – more than 450 million, as of April – producing about 50 million tonnes of pork each year. Soybeans are processed into a variety of food products, but they are also used to make swine feed. The China National Grain and Oils Information Centre estimates that the country will import 97 million tonnes of soybeans in the 2023-24 marketing year. Zambia, Tanzania, Benin and Ethiopia are some of the other African countries already exporting soybeans to China, but the Asian economic giant’s main sources of the superfood are the US, along with Brazil, Russia and ...