China on the Path to Become Major Peanut Importer

Over the last decade, the growing demand for peanuts in China, both for low-quality (crush) and premium quality, has led to a significant reduction in exports. At the same time, China is turning into a major importer. Exports of peanuts fell from nearly 900,000 tons in 2006/07 to an estimated 500,000 tons in 2015/16. Imports have been growing for the last few years and are estimated at 280,000 tons this year. Most of the decline in China's exports has been in lower-valued raw shelled peanuts that are primarily used for the growing domestic crush market. As a consequence, other importers of low-value peanuts have had to turn to other suppliers, principally India.

Until recently the United States, which traditionally markets high-quality, premium-priced peanuts, has seen little impact on sales of shelled peanuts. Previously, U.S. gains were mostly seen in inshells and peanut butter (see February 2016 Oilseeds: World Markets and Trade) where China's exports have also been declining. However, recent gains in U.S. exports of raw shelled peanuts coincide with the emergence of China as an important peanut importer. With domestic prices significantly above world levels, China has already become a major buyer of U.S. peanuts and is likely to continue its purchases in the upcoming season, benefiting from ample U.S. supplies.

OVERVIEW

2016/17

The global oilseed production forecast is raised this month as gains in Ukraine sunflowerseed crop more than offsets reductions in Ukraine soybeans and China cottonseed. The global soybean production forecast remains at a record level, up 3 percent year over year. Soybean imports are unchanged this month. Exports are projected to decline, with lower exportable supplies in Brazil and Ukraine offsetting larger shipments from the United States. Global stocks are reduced significantly this month as Brazil, the United States, and China are forecast to enter the new marketing year with lower supplies. The U.S. season-average farm price is projected at $9.50 per bushel.

2015/16

Global soybean production is lower this month on lower harvest estimates for Brazil, Uruguay, and China. Imports are reduced on weaker pace of trade in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Vietnam. Exports are lower on smaller shipments from Brazil and Uruguay more than offset gains in the United States. Global stocks are significantly reduced this month reflecting lower production in South America and China, as well as stronger U.S. crush and exports. The U.S. season-average farm price is estimated at $9.05 per bushel.

SOYBEAN PRICES

U.S. export bids in May, FOB Gulf, averaged $405/ton, up $35 from last month.

As of the week ending May 26, U.S. 2015/16 soybean export commitments (outstanding sales plus accumulated exports) to China totaled 27.4 million tons compared with 30.1 million a year ago. Total commitments to the world are 47.7 million tons, compared with 50.1 million for the same period last year.

2016/17 TRADE OUTLOOK CHANGES

  • U.S. soybean exports are raised 409,000 tons to 51.7 million reflecting strong global demand and reduced exportable supplies in South America.
  • Brazil soybean exports are reduced 500,000 tons to 59.7 million reflecting lower exportable supplies due to shrinking 15/16 ending stocks.
  • Ukraine
    • Sunflowerseed meal and oil exports are raised 300,000 tons each to 4.5 million and 4.8 million, respectively, following a larger crop forecast and higher crush.
    • Soybean exports are reduced 500,000 tons to 2.8 million reflecting a smaller crop forecast.

2015/16 TRADE CHANGES

  • U.S.
    • Soybean exports are raised 544,000 tons to 51.3 million reflecting the strong pace of trade to date as well as reduced soybean crop forecast for South America.
    • Soybean meal exports are up 181,000 tons to 10.6 million on a strong pace of trade to date and stronger global demand for protein feed.
  • Argentina
    • Sunflowerseed exports are raised 100,000 tons to 250,000 as elimination of the export tax and the peso devaluation have improved producer returns while limited supplies out of Eastern Europe have boosted purchases by the European Union.
    • Soybean oil exports are up 150,000 tons to 6.3 million reflecting the strong pace of trade to date and rising exports to India.
  • Bangladesh soybean meal imports are up 100,000 tons to 400,000 on a stronger pace of trade. At the same time soybean imports are reduced 100,000 tons to 1.1 million reflecting the weaker pace of trade to date and surge in global soybean prices.
  • Brazil soybean exports are reduced 750,000 tons to 58.8 million following a lower production forecast.
  • China peanut imports are boosted 100,000 tons to 280,000 reflecting the strong pace of trade and growing demand for crushing and food consumption.
  • Egypt
    • Palm oil imports are reduced 200,000 tons to 1.3 million on a slower pace of trade as well as growing imports of other vegetable oils during the same period of time.
    • Soybean and sunflowerseed oil imports are raised 100,000 tons each to 550,000 and 500,000, respectively.
  • European Union
    • Rapeseed imports are up 200,000 tons to 3.0 million reflecting the strong pace of trade to date, mainly from Australia.
    • Sunflowerseed imports are raised 100,000 tons to 370,000 on higher purchases from Argentina.
    • Sunflowerseed oil imports are up 150,000 tons to 1.2 million reflecting the stronger pace of trade, mainly from Ukraine.
  • India
    • Soybean oil imports are raised 300,000 tons to 4.0 million reflecting the strong pace of trade to date, mainly from Argentina, as well as reductions in other vegetable oil imports (palm kernel oil and rapeseed oil).
    • Rapeseed oil imports are slashed 150,000 tons to 300,000 on a slower trade to date.
  • Malaysia palm oil exports are down 150,000 tons to 17.5 million following a lower production forecast. At the same time, imports are raised 200,000 tons to 600,000 reflecting a larger volume of trade from Indonesia.
  • Pakistan soybean imports are reduced 100,000 tons to 1.3 million on a weaker pace of trade.
  • Ukraine sunflowerseed oil exports are boosted 100,000 tons to 4.2 million on strong demand, mainly from the European Union.
  • Uruguay soybean exports are reduced 400,000 tons to 1.7 million on lower exportable supplies.
  • Vietnam soybean imports are lowered 100,000 tons to 1.6 million reflecting the weaker pace of trade.