BEIJING, CHINA — China saw its soybean imports fall by 14% in July compared to the same month in 2020, according to a Reuters report, citing customs data.

The world’s biggest soybean buyer imported 8.67 million tonnes in July, down from 10.09 million tonnes the previous July. 

Poor soybean crushing margins weighed on demand as sliding hog margins curbed soymeal consumption, according to Reuters.

Customs data for the first seven months of the year pegged China’s soybean imports at 57.63 million tonnes, up 4.5% from the same period in 2020.

The increase in soybean imports through the first half of the year in China was due to strong demand from a pig herd that was recovering from an African swine fever outbreak that led to the culling of nearly half of the country’s pig herd in 2019.

However, soybean demand is expected to slow in the final months of 2021 due to the falling hog margins and increased use of wheat as a substitute in hog feed, Reuters reported.