China will cut its soybean imports for the first time in 15 years in 2018/19, the agriculture ministry forecast, as a trade spat with the United States pushes pig farmers in the world's top buyer to seek cheaper proteins. China is taking extra efforts to increase its soybean output this year amid an ongoing trade spat with the United States that threatens to curb imports from its second supplier.China is the world’s top buyer and consumer of soybeans, with most used to feed its huge livestock sector. But Beijing has threatened to levy a 25 percent tariff on soybean imports from the United States, in retaliation over trade measures taken by Washington. The threat of the tariffs alone have already cut off U.S. soybean imports, and pushed up prices from other suppliers such as Brazil, supporting the price of soymeal, a widely used animal feed ingredient.
Authorities in the north-eastern Heilongjiang and Jilin provinces met at the end of the April to discuss actions to boost planting of soybeans, reports posted on city government websites said. A document circulating online apparently published by the Heilongjiang provincial government called for an extra 5 million mu (333,333 hectares) to be planted with soybeans this year.The so-called “emergency notice” also called for an additional 2 million mu to be included in an ongoing programme to rotate corn with other crops such as soybeans. The government of Jilin provincial capital Changchun also outlined several actions to fulfil the new policy in a document posted online, dated April 28.