14 Jun 2024 11:18

Russia cuts soybean imports 30% to 470,000 tonnes in Jan-May - analysts

MOSCOW. June 14 (Interfax) - Russia cut soybean imports 30% to around 470,000 tonnes in January-May this year from 672,000 tonnes for the same period last year, the OleoScope information and analytical agency told Interfax.

OleoScope said that the rise in soybean production is the main reason for the decline, resulting in an increase in the supply of soybeans on the domestic market.

"In terms of this, the requirement for imports is still lower this year than last year. Russia has specifically nearly halved purchases of Brazilian soybeans to 341,000 tonnes. There were no supplies from Argentina, which had exported 29,000 tonnes of soybeans to Russia in January-May 2023," OleoScope said.

The analysts also see preconditions for a further decline in soybean imports to Russia. OleoScope forecasts that the country will likely import just over 1.1 million tonnes of soybeans this year compared to 1.3 million tonnes the previous year.

"Soybeans remain one of the highest-margin crops in the line of oilseeds and grains, thus agricultural producers will continue to expand the sown areas, so it is worth expecting a new record for the crop's production in Russia this year," the analysts said.

OleoScope estimates that domestic oil and fat enterprises against this background are switching to processing local raw materials, while maintaining high demand for both soybeans and processed products on the domestic market should become a driver for further boosting the production of beans, thus reducing the need for imports.

Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) data indicate that Russia harvested 6.8 million tonnes of soybeans in 2023 against 6 million tonnes in 2022.