An official report showed that China, the world's largest soybean importer, is forecast to import 82.66 million metric tons of soybeans by 2024, up 15.8 percent from 2014. At the same time, consumption of soybeans will rise 12.7 percent in 2015 to 96.71 million tons by 2024, according to the China Agriculture Outlook 2015-24.
Experts said that limited farmland and a rising population would force China to seek more soybean imports from Brazil, Argentina and the United States.
While imports of soybeans will rise, staples such as corn will remain steady. Corn imports are unlikely to surpass 7.2 million tons in 2024 due to quota restrictions. But corn consumption in the next decade will continue to increase with an annual growth rate of 3.1 percent, the report said.
Wheat imports will climb up to 2.8 million tons from 1 million in 2014. Cotton imports in 2024 are estimated at 2.08 million tons, down 14.8 percent from 2014, because of lower Chinese textile exports and a greater use of cotton substitutes, the report said.
Imports of pork, lamb and beef are likely to slow by 2024 compared with the past decade as the growth in meat consumption declines. This will restrict pork imports to less than 1 million tons a year by 2024, while those of beef and lamb will be less than 500,000 tons each.
Thursday April 23, 2015/ MoA/ China.