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Chinese Oilseed Imports to Rise 9.2% in 2011-12, Oil World Says

Chinese oilseed imports are forecast to rise 9.2 percent in 2011-12, led by soybean and rapeseed buying, as the country seeks to make up for declining domestic production, according to Oil World analysts.

China’s oilseed imports will increase to a record 59.1 million metric tons in the year through September from 54.1 million tons in the previous season, the Hamburg-based researcher forecast in an e-mailed report today.

China is the world’s largest buyer of soybeans, accounting for 59 percent of world imports in 2010-11, data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show. The country produced 5.7 percent of last year’s global soybean crop, according to the data.

“Domestic oilseed production has been on a declining trend in recent years as a result of reduced acreage devoted to oilseeds and little or no growth in average yields,” Oil World wrote. “Rising domestic demand is likely to require a sharp increase in Chinese imports.”

Soybean production in China is estimated to slip to 13.6 million tons in 2011-12 from 14.9 million tons, while the harvest of rapeseed is expected to be 11.6 million tons, down from 12.2 million tons in 2010-11, according to Oil World.

China’s soybean imports will rise to 56 million tons in 2011-12 from 52.3 million tons a year earlier, while rapeseed purchases will advance to 2.1 million tons from 930,000 tons, the researcher said.

Chinese Delegation to Visit U.S.

“The severe drought damage in South America will raise China’s dependence on U.S. soybeans in 2012,” Oil World wrote. “Additional purchases are very likely to be made in the next few weeks, primarily when a Chinese top-level government delegation will visit the U.S.”

China’s cottonseed imports this season will gain to 410,000 tons from 317,000 tons and linseed purchases are forecast to more than double to 110,000 tons from 43,000 tons in 2010-11, Oil World said. Sesame seed imports will slip to 390,000 tons from 409,000 tons, it said.

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