Soybeans are originally produced in our country, why are they imported in large quantities from abroad? Where did the imported soybeans go?
In the first nine months of this year, my country’s soybean imports reached 74.53 million tons, an increase of 15.5%from 64.508 million tons in the same period last year. The import volume of soybeans is four times that of my country’s soybean production.
In 2017, my country’s soybean imports reached 95.53 million tons, breaking through 90 million tons for the first time. Soybean imports in 2018 and 2019 are both maintained at around 88 million tons.
Soybeans, The place of origin is my country, and the history of planting in my country is extremely long. At the same time, my country is also the country with the largest soybean crush in the world, and my country’s soybean consumption can account for about 30%of global soybean consumption.
From the data point of view, my country’s demand for soybeans is extremely large, and what are such large quantities of soybeans used for? Why must it be imported from abroad?
Where are the imported soybeans?
There are generally three uses for soybeans, and the most well-known one is soybean oil. The consumption of edible soybean oil is currently the largest consumption of soybeans in my country. In my country, soybean oil is the most common and most widely consumed oil product, and soybeans are almost the only source of soybean oil.
Imported soybeans are different from Chinese soybean varieties. The soybeans grown in my country are characterized by high protein content and are suitable for processing soybean products. The oil yield rate of imported soybeans is very high, so many soybean oil processing companies will choose imported soybeans to squeeze edible oil.
More than 87%of my country’s imported soybeans are used for crushing Soybean oil. It can be said that when you eat in restaurants and stir-fry at home, most of the soybean oil you eat is squeezed from imported soybeans.
This is the number one consumption direction of imported soybeans.
From soybean After extracting the oil, the rest is soybean meal. Soybean meal is mainly used for processing into feed, such as pig feed and chicken feed, many of which are mixed with soybean meal.
Feed consumption is another major consumption channel for imported soybeans.
In addition, soy products such as spicy strips and tofu also account for a certain proportion of imported soybean consumption, but the proportion is very small.
It can be said that the consumption of imported soybeans is mainly used for squeezing soybean oil.
When did the import of soybeans come from?
In the past 50 years of history, my country’s soybeans have not been imported all the time. The turning point was 1996. In 1996, my country changed from a net soybean exporter to a net importer.
However, the main reason for this status quo is that the domestic soybean production level lags behind foreign countries for many years.
With the improvement of living standards, the people’s demand for soybean oil has risen, and the demand for edible meat products has also risen, so the demand for soybeans has also risen.
This has led to a serious shortage of self-sufficiency in soybean production in my country, and it must rely on imported soybeans from abroad.
Young people may not have such an impression, but older people may still have an impression. Around 1996, soybean oil was not the main edible oil in those years. It was not that soybean oil was not good, but the price was too expensive. In many rural areas, people choose cottonseed oil instead of soybean oil for cooking.
The cottonseed oil at that time was also called”sanitary oil”.
After 1996, the use of cottonseed oil has basically been declining year by year, and every household has begun to switch to soybean oil. This is not caused by the increase in soybean production in my country, but by the increase in imported soybeans year by year.
Since 1996, my country’s soybean import production has been increasing year by year. With the rapid improvement of the living standards of Chinese residents, the demand for soybeans is also increasing. Imported soybeans will naturally not stop the car.
When we eat stir-fried vegetables, pork, and chicken, we actually consume a portion of imported soybeans.
If we find a final reason for a large number of imported soybeans, it can be said that the main reason is that our country is developing too fast and living standards are improving too fast.
There is a saying:
Forty years ago, cooking houses did not put too much oil; nowadays, cooking is afraid of putting too much oil.
This can finally explain why China imports so much soybeans.
Can’t you grow your own soybeans?
Many people think it is better to insist on growing your own soybeans. This is naturally the right direction.
However, the overall status quo must also be considered. my country’s current soybean production level has certain shortcomings, and the production level is still short of the international soybean production level.
As mentioned above, the main difference lies in the low oil yield and high protein content of soybean varieties in my country. Foreign soybeans have high oil yield and low protein content, which is a key factor.
This has caused oil companies to choose foreign soybeans to Squeeze cooking oil.
There is no element of admiring foreigners and foreigners. It is a very simple business logic. Whoever has a low cost will use it. Imported soybeans have low cost and high oil production. Naturally, imported soybeans are used, and there is no rule that imported soybeans cannot be used to squeeze soybean oil.
Therefore, domestic soybeans will still be unable to compete with imported soybeans for a long time, and it needs to accumulate and progress slowly.
my country is also strengthening its support for domestic soybeans, but the prosperity of an industry takes time. Before domestic soybeans can take the lead, they still have to rely on imported soybeans.
What if soybeans cannot be imported?
Many people will have a worry. The situation in foreign countries is changing. What if some countries restrict my country’s imports of soybeans?
my country’s current soybean importing countries are mainly the United States and Brazil, and there are also some spare countries. Soybeans are different from chips. Soybeans are still a buyer’s market, and buyers have a higher voice. The probability that soybeans cannot be imported is relatively low.
but back In ten thousand steps, the soybeans of the world will suddenly die out one day. How much influence will it have on our country?
Pork prices, cooking oil prices, chicken prices, tofu prices…
It’s nothing more than eating less meat and cooking with less soybean oil.
It’s a big deal to eat corn oil, peanut oil, sanitary oil and so on.
Some people often speculate that my country imports too much grain each year, but in fact, this imported grain contains imported soybeans. Excluding imported soybeans, my country’s grain imports are actually very low.
my country has taken the lead in ensuring self-sufficiency in food.
And soybeans can only be regarded as an oil crop, which is related to diet Habit has a lot to do with it. Its status is not as high as that of food crops.
Assuming there is an acre of land, the choice between planting corn and soybeans will definitely give priority to the development of corn, because the yield of corn is high, and corn can also be used as food and feed.
When it is critical, corn can also be used to extract oil.
Many times, we hope to have both fish and bear paws, but there must be a sequence. We must ensure that the output of more important crops is okay, and then develop secondary crops.
Soybeans are very important, but compared to staple foods, the three major staple foods are more important.
So, everyone should rationally look at the reasons for my country’s large imports of soybeans.