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China to Extend U.S. Soy Buying on Brazil Losses, Oil World Says

China, the world’s biggest soybean consumer, will “increasingly shift” purchases of the oilseed to the U.S. in coming months after South American supplies tightened, Oil World said.

The U.S. is seen exporting “at least” 2.3 million metric tons of soybeans to China from June to August, compared with 600,000 tons a year earlier, the Hamburg-based researcher said today in a report. Shipments are seen gaining “momentum” in the following six months, reaching a new record for the September-to-February period, Oil World said.

Brazil, the world’s biggest soybean shipper, sent record amounts to China from January to April, leaving the South American country’s stockpiles down about 13 million tons from a year earlier at the end of last month. Soybean futures have surged 24 percent this year on the Chicago Board of Trade after drought hurt crops in Brazil and Argentina.

“Additional large Chinese purchases would require even more rationing to be done in Brazil for the rest of this year,” Oil World said. “We expect that insufficient South American supplies will result in a contra-seasonal increase in U.S. soybean exports to China.”

China’s soybean imports for the 2011-12 marketing year are seen totaling 56.5 million tons, almost 1 million tons more than expected a month earlier, Oil World said. Purchases are seen climbing to at least 60 million tons in the following season and are seen potentially even higher if the country’s production falls below the expected 12.5 million tons, a 20-year low, Oil World said.

U.S. soybean exports are seen totaling 36 million tons this season, cutting stockpiles on Aug. 31 to 5.8 million tons, Oil World said.

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