Demand from the country’s poultry feed sector fuels increase.
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WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — Pakistan continues to increase its purchasing of soybeans with imports expected to reach a record 1.6 million tonnes during 2016-17 and 2 million tonnes during 2017-18, according to a recent Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Higher imports are a reflection of a tariff structure that favors soybeans over soymeal and growing demand from Pakistan’s poultry sector. 

The report said imports of edible oils are proving to be slower than forecast as higher prices curb demand and increased imports and crushing of canola and soybeans offset some of the need for edible oil imports. Imports of both palm oil and soybean oil are now expected lower, but Pakistan remains one of the largest vegetable oil importers. 

“Continued demand for protein meal from Pakistan’s poultry feed sector is expected to push soybean imports to a record,” the report said. “The creation of a tariff structure a few years ago that favors imports of soybeans over soymeal continues to change the import mix.” 

According to the report, exports of soybeans to Pakistan reached a record 835,000 tonnes during the first eight months of 2016-17. Of that amount, 363,113 tonnes were sourced from the U.S. Currently, an additional 586,000 tonnes are booked for nearby delivery, with the expectation that a further 160,000 tonnes will be purchased for 2016-17 delivery. Imports in 2017-18 are expected to climb to 2 million tonnes. 

Importers continue to source small quantities of soybean meal when pricing is favorable and imports are expected to reach 360,000 tonnes during the current marketing year based on imports to date and estimated bookings, the report said.