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BEIJING/HAMBURG/ KYIV: Chinese importers have cancelled a series of animal feed barley shipments from the Black Sea region in recent weeks due to weaker than expected domestic demand and expectations for a large corn crop, traders in Asia and Europe said on Friday.

Some traders said at least five shipments of barley from Ukraine were cancelled. Others put the volume at around seven shipments, totalling some 400,000 tonnes. The shipments were due to load in the fourth quarter of this year.

Low profit margins for hog farmers have reduced demand for feed grains in China, while congestion at major Chinese ports continued to delay import shipments, traders said.

China is also expecting to receive its new bumper corn harvest, seen bigger than last year, in around a month’s time, curbing appetite for imports, at least temporarily.

One trader estimated that barley shipments to China in August were around 1.3 million tonnes, with Ukraine, France and Australia the main suppliers.

China imported 6.42 million tonnes of barley in the first seven months of the year, up 124.8% from the previous year, according to official data.

“Domestic prices were not good (enough) to bring them in, so (the vessels) were washed out,” said a trader with an international trading house.

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