China’s major pig farmers and commodity producers on Tuesday declared their efforts to reduce the use of soybean meal to reduce reliance on soybean meal and ensure the country’s food security.

Muyuan Foods, a leading pork and pork producer, said the company will use just 6.9% soybean meal in its pig farming formula feed next year, compared to the average level of 1.3 million tonnes of soybean meal this year.

New Hope Liuhe, China’s largest producer of commodities, will use soybean meal in its feed by 10.7%, about 4.6 percentage points lower than the industry average, and reduced soybean meal consumption by 1.3 million tons.

Those examples were cited after the Department of Agriculture (MOA) pledged on Monday to drastically reduce the use of soybean meal in animal feed as part of efforts to ensure national food security.

The MOA noted that the cuts are aimed at ensuring China’s food security amid uncertain external supplies and promoting high-quality development and industrial efficiency. China relies heavily on soybean imports, fueled by demand for animal feed, making it a key agricultural commodity for China’s food security, experts said.

Wang Zuri, a deputy researcher at the Institute of Agricultural Economic Development of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, said the move aims to reduce dependence on soybean imports, which are heavily dependent on demand for soybean meal.

“In the face of the complex international trade situation and uncertainty in international trade relations, reducing reliance on imports will help ensure food security,” Wang told the Global Times on Tuesday.

According to a study by Guolian Securities, domestic consumption of soybean meal will reach 78.4 million tons in 2021, a year-on-year increase of 2.8%, much of which was used as animal feed.

MOA officials said in February that soybean meal production could fall by more than 23 million tonnes and soybean demand by nearly 30 million tonnes if effective policies and measures were put in place.

In recent years, the ministry has pushed to reduce the use of soy in animal nutrition, which has had a positive impact.

In 2021, soybean meal will account for 15.3% of the feed consumed in China’s aquaculture industry, down 2.5 points from 2017. This reduction saved 11 million tons of soybean meal. According to the MOA, 100 million mu of farmland.

Chinese companies are also promoting low-protein diets as an alternative to soy flour.

Muyuan Foods Co. said that by adding appropriate amounts of five or six synthetic amino acids, the standard for feed protein content can be lowered to 12% throughout the pig breeding process. This process significantly reduces the use of soybean meal and other protein ingredients.

Imported soybeans account for 85.5% of domestic demand, according to national customs data.

Brazil is China’s largest importer of soybeans, followed by the United States. In 2021, China’s soybean imports from Brazil will reach her 58.15 million tons, accounting for about 60.2% of total soybean imports. Imports from the United States amounted to 32.31 million tons, accounting for about 33.5% of the total. In 2021, China will import 96.51 million tons of soybeans, down 3.8% year-on-year.

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Source: Global Times

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