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Pakistani importers seek 66,000 tons of soybeans from U.S. or Brazil

HAMBURG - Pakistani importers are negotiating over the purchase of about 66,000 tons of soybeans to be sourced from the United States or Brazil, European traders said on Wednesday.

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HAMBURG - Pakistani importers are negotiating over the purchase of about 66,000 tons of soybeans to be sourced from the United States or Brazil, European traders said on Wednesday.

The soybeans were being sought for shipment between Nov. 15 and Dec. 15, they said.

Pakistan has been a heavy buyer of soybeans this year as import duties and local sales taxes have made soybean imports for local crushing more attractive than soymeal imports, one trader said.

"Pakistan has already purchased over 700,000 tons of soybeans since the end of February," one trader said. "Pakistani processors are crushing over 75,000 tons of soybeans monthly. Two vessels are loading from the United States and one from Brazil."

Pakistan's soybean imports are expected to rise after the import tariff on soybean meal was increased from July 1, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has said.

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The USDA forecasts Pakistan's soybean imports will rise from 450,000 tons in the 2014/15 season to about 1 million tons in the 2015/16 season.

"This is now going to increase as changes in the import duty structure for soymeal have resulted in an increase in local crushing, which will generate local employment and save foreign exchange," a trader said.

Processors are turning to soybeans from their traditional crushing of rapeseed/canola. Crushing soybeans produces more meal and less oil than processing rapeseed, which has a higher oil yield when crushed.

This means that there is also increased Pakistan import demand for soyoil, traders said.

"Pakistani importers have also purchased about 75,000 tons of soyoil for July/October arrival and I expect around 100,000 tons of soyoil to be bought this year," one trader said.

Soyoil prices were around $692 to $710 a ton c&f, he said.

Last year Pakistan imported about 85,000 ton of soyoil.

Some imports of Indian soymeal continue during the transition process, he said. India was traditionally a major soymeal supplier to Pakistan and faces loss of business as Pakistan increases its own soybean crushing.

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