Big push for Chinese oilseed self-sufficiency

Gregor Heard
By Gregor Heard
January 15 2022 - 2:00am
China is looking to grow more canola.

IN NEWS being closely monitored by the Australian canola industry, Reuters is reporting China is embarking on a massive program to boost its domestic oilseed production.

Reuters said China hopes to produce 40 per cent more soybeans by the end of 2025 along with attempts to grow rapeseed (canola) production by 29pc.

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China is heavily reliant on oilseed imports, bringing in 85pc of its soybean demand from abroad, while it is similarly dependent on imports for its rapeseed / canola needs.

At present the vast majority of Australian canola heads to the European Union, with healthy demand from the biodiesel sector, but previously China has been a major buyer of Australian canola.

It was reported China has set a goal of production of 23 million tonnes of soybeans, compared to production of 16.4 million tonnes currently.

China has been looking at ways to beef up soybean production since 2019, potentially at the expense of lower value cereal crops like wheat, but farmers are still seeing better gross margins in crops such as corn, so soybean output fell 16pc in 2021.

Chinese authorities, according to a five-year crop plan report, will look to increase corn-soy rotations and also look to bolster soybean yields.

Peanuts, another source of oil, are also flagged to be more widely grown.

While China hopes to grow its production of rice, wheat and corn the targets are much less ambitious.

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Gregor Heard

Gregor Heard

National Grains Industry Reporter

Gregor Heard is Fairfax Ag Media's national grains industry reporter, based in Horsham, Victoria. He has a wealth of knowledge surrounding the cropping sector through his ten years in the role. Prior to that he was with the Fairfax network as a reporter with Stock & Land. Some of the major issues he has reported on during his time with the company include the deregulation of the export wheat market, the introduction of genetically modified crops and the fight to protect growers better from grain trader insolvencies. Still involved with the family farm he is passionate about rural Australia and its people and hopes to use his role to act as an advocate for those involved in the grain sector. Away from work, he is a keen traveller, having spent his long service leave last year in Spain learning the language.

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