China soybean meal futures hit record on supply tight


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By Hallie Gu and Dominique Patton

BEIJING, Feb 24 (Reuters) – China’s soymeal prices soared to a record high on Thursday, even as the government plans to release soybeans from its state reserves amid concerns about tight market supplies. .

China soybean meal futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange rose 5% to 4,064 yuan ($643.13) per tonne, up 12% from the Lunar New Year holiday.

China said this week it would release some soybeans from state reserves to boost supplies, but did not give details on volumes.

Spot prices of soybean meal in Rizhao, Shandong province a major processing hub in eastern China, rose to 4,400 yuan per tonne, up 250 yuan from last week and the highest level in nearly nine years.

Soybean crushers did not build much inventory ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays due to low margins and returned to find that oilseed arrivals from South America were insufficient to meet demand, said Zou Honglin, an analyst at Mysteel, a consultancy for Commodities in China.

Weekly national soybean inventories last Friday were at 3.017 million tons, 14.36% less than the previous week and 33.33% less than the previous year.

Soybean meal inventories fell 47.43% from a year earlier to 385,300 tonnes, according to Mysteel data.

China’s crush margins turned negative in late 2021, curbing large soybean purchases. Shredders were still struggling to make a profit as demand from the livestock sector remained stable.

Bad weather in Brazil has led to lower estimates of the volume of the new crop and delayed harvesting and loading of soybeans in the world’s top exporter.

($1 = 6.3191 Chinese yuan)

(Reporting by Dominique Patton and Hallie Gu. Editing in Spanish by Marion Giraldo)




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