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Research Report on China Soybean Industry, 2017-2021



The soybean industry involves departments and industries of national economy related to soybean production, trade, processing, logistics, R&D and relevant services. The soybean industry possesses a leading chain of bulk farm-products in China, including planting, processing, supply of edible oil, forage and breeding. The soybean industry experienced huge changes and difficulties after the entrance in WTO. On the one hand, domestic soybean production shrank with a rising import dependence ratio up to over 80%. On the other hand, key links of Chinese soybean industry were controlled by foreign capitals with their strength in funds and technologies.

China was a leading producer of soybeans before. In the early 1990s, the highest export volume exceeded 1 million tons in China as a net exporter of soybeans. However, soybean becomes a kind of agricultural product with the largest import volume in China.

The domestic output volume of soybeans started to decline from 1996. The import volume of soybeans increased while the export volume declined from 1995 to 2002. It was 13.94 million tons in 2002 which was close to the domestic output volume of soybeans and reached 20.74 million tons in 2003, first exceeding the domestic output volume. Meanwhile, it was up to 81.69 million tons in 2015.

As a world leading soybean importer, the import volume of soybeans in China accounted for over 60% of the global soybean trade. However, Chinese enterprises have no international pricing rights but to accept prices set by CBOT. Transnational grain trade giants occupy the pricing rights of the soybean market so Chinese importers are regulated by the market in the procurement and import of soybeans. Particularly, those large-scale crushing enterprises dependent on the import of soybeans suffer huge loss in the import of soybeans.

From 2004, soybean processing enterprises experienced comprehensive loss in China while international grain businesses entered China and occupied over half of the market shares with this opportunity, which was followed by the transfer from trade businesses to processing enterprises. The procurement of soybeans was at high costs in 2004 while the soybean price declined sharply from then on, leading to the closing down of numerous Chinese importers.

In the processing of soybeans, major evaluation indexes include the self-support degree and domestic prices of soybeans. The self-support degree of soybeans was less than 40% and it presented a trend of decline. The price of soybeans experienced a sharp fluctuation especially due to the imported soybeans.

Main situation of the processing link in China soybean industry is considered to be the absolute domination of foreign capitals in the capital composition of the crushing industry. There are two targets in the foreign-owned soybean processing industry including larger sales volume of soybeans and more market shares than competitors in China.

The development of many foreign-owned grain and oil enterprises is aiming at the establishment of complete industry chains including agriculture production materials, agricultural product production, agriculture processing and circulation for higher profits. Over half of the crushing capacity of soybeans in China was controlled by transnational grain enterprises by the end of 2015.

Readers can obtain the following information or more through this report:

  • Development Environment of Soybean Industry in China
  • Trend of Output Volume of Soybeans in China
  • Trend of Import Volume of Soybeans in China
  • Trend of Demand Volume of Soybeans in China
  • Development Status of China Soybean Industry
  • Major Driving Forces and Market Opportunities of Soybean Industry in China
  • Major Soybean Processing Enterprises and Their Operation Status in China
  • Market Status and Development Trend of Transgenic Soybeans in China
  • Development Trend of China Soybean Industry
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Research Report on China Soybean Industry, 2017-2021


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