April 22 (Bloomberg) -- European Union imports of soybeans are predicted to climb to the highest level in six years in 2013-14 on increased crushing of the oil seed, industry researcher Oil World said.
The EU may import 13.9 million metric tons of beans in the year through August from 13.3 million tons a year earlier, with crush rising to 13.5 million tons from 13.24 million tons, the Hamburg, Germany based researcher wrote in an e-mailed report.
Soybean crush margins were “very attractive” in early 2014 on lower-than-expected arrivals of soybean meal from South America, while reserved selling of rapeseed by European farmers kept prices of the competing oilseed high, Oil World said. Processors crush the oilseeds to obtain oil used for cooking and to make biodiesel, as well as meal used in animal feed.
“Soybean crush margins have weakened lately, which is likely to be reflected in some slowing down of crushings from June or July,” Oil World said. “For January-June we have raised our estimates of EU soybean imports and crushings.”
EU imports of beans in the January-June period are forecast to rise to 7.6 million tons, 500,000 tons more than a year earlier, Oil World wrote.
“The increase comes exclusively from South America, while arrivals from the U.S., Canada and Ukraine will decline,” the researcher said.
The EU crush of 10 oil seeds is predicted to rise to a record 44.8 million tons in the year through September 2014, climbing 1.6 million tons from the previous season, according to Oil World.