SAO PAULO, May 15 (Reuters) - Brazilian exports of soybeans to China, by far their largest market, fell 13 percent in the first four months of 2019 versus a year ago, according to a report from Cargonave shipping agency released on Wednesday.
Soybean exports to China were 20.07 million tonnes from January to end of April, from 23.08 million tonnes in the same period a year earlier, the report showed.
Brazil shipped a total 27.6 million tonnes of soybeans to all destinations in the first four months of this year versus 29.74 million tonnes last year. China’s share of total exports fell to 72.8% from 77.6% in 2018 in the same period.
Brazilian soybean exports to China shot up last year as the U.S.-China trade war led Chinese importers to replace higher-tariff U.S. goods, but an outbreak of African swine fever in China has hit demand for soy, largely used for animal feed. An easing of tensions in early 2019 also led the United States to send some of its soybean stocks to China.
Among the commodities traders exporting soybeans from Brazil, Cargill is the biggest by volume in the year to April, with 4.3 million tonnes loaded, followed by Bunge and Louis Dreyfus in third.
Reporting by Roberto Samora and Marcelo Teixeira, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien