BEIJING, CHINA — With rising feed demand and limited availability, China is expected to import a record 100 million tonnes of soybeans in 2022-23, according to the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Oilseed production is expected to increase only slightly to 62.4 million tonnes in the same year due to strong domestic prices and government incentives. Soybean production is estimated at 17.4 million tonnes, up 1 million tonnes from 2021-22 based on anticipated acreage of 8.9 million hectares and minimal yield growth.

Total oilseed consumption for 2022-23 is forecast at 166.7 million tonnes, up from an estimated 163.5 million tonnes in 2021-22.

“Oilseed demand, primarily in the animal feed sector, continues to outstrip domestic production, requiring significant volumes of imports,” the USDA said. “Despite government efforts to boost domestic oilseed production, imports are expected to account for 62 percent of total domestic oilseed consumption in 2022-23, a slight increase from 2021-22.”

Increasing sow and hog inventories following the Africa swine fever outbreak in 2018, high poultry production capacity and increasing ruminant and aquaculture production is expected to boost feed demand in 2022-23, the USDA said.

Soybean imports for 2021-22 were revised downward to 95 million tonnes due to continuing weak demand in the swine and poultry sectors, the USDA said. Feed mills ae looking for ways to trim soybean meal inclusion rates to improve low margins or narrow losses.