China on Wednesday slashed its forecast for 2018/19 soybean imports as farmer reduce their use of the bean in animal feed because of the Sino-US trade conflict, leading the government to raise its supply deficit estimate.
Imports of soybeans in the crop year that starts on Oct. 1 will be 83.65 million tonnes, down 10.2 million tonnes from last month's estimate of 93.85 million tonnes, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said in its monthly crop report.
The forecast is lower than the 93.9 million tonnes imported during the 2017/18 crop year.
The ministry said the lower forecast for soybean imports was due to the promotion of lower-protein feed for livestock and poultry. Additionally, falling profits at pig farms should reduce demand for soymeal feed for the herds.
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