(Adds analyst comment in fourth paragraph.)
Oct. 13 (Bloomberg) -- China’s soybean imports, the world’s biggest, jumped to a record 52.3 million metric tons in the year ended Sept. 30, according to calculations by Bloomberg News based on official customs data.
Deliveries increased 4 percent from the previous year, according to data by the Beijing-based customs agency. Imports last month declined to 4.13 million tons from 4.51 million tons in August, the customs said.
Imports surged more than five-fold in the past 10 years and purchases now represent more than half global trade. Shipments for the year started Oct. 1 are predicted to climb to 56.5 million tons, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said yesterday.
“The growth in the last marketing year was within expectations while the increase this year will depend on the economic situation,” Zhao Yan, an analyst at Everbright Futures Co., said by phone from Dalian. “The decrease in September’s volume is normal because U.S. supplies decreased near the end of the marketing year.”
Imports jumped 22 percent in 2009-2010 from a year earlier after the government stockpiled part of the domestic harvest, Zhao said. The slower growth this year was still “pretty good” given the economic climate, she said.
Soybean shipments arriving in China for October, November and December are estimated at 4.3 million tons, 5.2 million tons and 4.7 million tons, Grain.gov.cn said Oct. 10.
--William Bi. Editor: James Poole
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