Thailand’s soybean imports jump as French farmers reduce acreage for summer crops

GLOBAL – In Thailand,  the economy is rebounding from COVID-19, stimulating a spike in feed demand and a need for soybean imports, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

According to the report, Thailand’s soybean imports in the 2021-22 marketing year are expected to jump 5% to 4.1 million tonnes compared to the previous marketing year based on increased demand from the food and feed industries.

Soybean meal imports are recovering and are projected to rise to 2.8 million tonnes for the 2021-2020 marketing year from a 5% reduction in the 2020-21 marketing year.

An increase in poultry and swine production is expected to feed the escalating soybean meal import demand.

According to the USDA, despite there being demand for soybean in Thailand, the country will continue relying on imports for the foreseeable future as farmers  avoid it in favour of more profitable commodities such as corn and cassava.

France’s spring crop area expected to decline

Meanwhile in France, spring crop area is expected to decline from 2020 to the advantage of Wheat whose acreage is expected to rise from 2020 and in line with the five-year average, the Farm ministry has reported.

As a result of the shift from summer crops, Spring barley expected to fall 34% to 1.73 million hectares from the high levels seen last year.

For rapeseed, the ministry estimates the 2021 area at 990,000 hectares, down 11% from 2020. This is the first time the area has fallen below one million hectares in at least six years.

Acreage under sunflower is also projected to drop by 25% to 580,000 hectares and be in line with the average of the past five years while that of corn is projected to decline by around 18%.

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Sugar beet plantings could fall to around 400,000 hectares, in a further potential decline after farmers cut back on the crop in recent years due to weak sugar prices.

In the April report, the French ministry said the impact of recent frosts, could have “significant consequences” on sugar beet, fruit orchards, vineyards, and crops.

Commenting on potential frost damage, Agriculture Minister Julien Denormandie on Monday said France was likely experiencing the greatest agronomic disaster this century. He promised financial aid for all sectors hit.

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