China’s soybean imports are expected record-high, according to Reuters. The nation is expected to import more than 100 million metric tons of soybeans in 2020, as the nation looks to rebuild its hog herd, boosting demand for protein. An executive with China’s state-owned grains trader COFCO told Reuters the country is expected to crush 92.6 million metric tons of soybeans this year.
The record follows declines in demand stemming from African swine fever, which decimated China’s hog population. Chinese officials claim the country’s hog herd has recovered to more than 90 percent of normal levels, though that data has some analysts skeptical. Still, China expects the demand for protein, specifically soybeans for animal feed, to remain strong into the first quarter of 2021. For 2020, demand for soybean oil is expected to increase by more than six percent, as well, thanks to increasing use of the oil in biodiesel and animal feed.