Virtual Land Trades and External Dependences of China’s Soybean Resources
2011, 26 (7):
Soybean, soybean meal, soybean oil and other soybean processed products can be collectively called soybean resources for they are all the products of resources, of which soybean meal and soybean oil are the two main soybean processed products. All agricultural products and their processed products, including soybean resources contain certain amount of virtual land. Due to the constraints of land resources and the impacts of international soybean market, China has limited soybean producing capacity. However, with the rapid development of feed industry and animal husbandry, and the increasing consumption of vegetable oil, China’s demand for soybean resources has increased rapidly in recent years, which caused that the imports of soybean and its processed products increased year by year. To assess the quantity of the virtual land hidden in the trade of the soybean resources and analyze the land resource savings and the external dependences of China’s soybean resources, we calculated the actual amount of land resources needed according to the yields of producers. Firstly we study the scientific methods of how to quantify the virtual land contents of soybean resources theoretically, and calculate the virtual land contents of soybean resources in different countries. Then we analyze the virtual land trades embedded in soybean resources in China from 2000 to 2009 from the producer point of view, and we also analyze the actual land resource savings and external dependences from the perspective of consumption. The results indicate that: 1)The virtual land contents of China’s soybeans, soybean meal and soybean oil are respectively 0.60, 0.50, 1.24 hm2/t, and the global average stands at 0.43, 0.34, 0.89 hm2/t. 2) In the producer point of view, the actual net imports of virtual land increased from 4.14×106 hm2 in 2000 to 18.15×106 hm2 in 2009, and the proportion of imports from U.S.A, Brazil and Argentina were respectively 44.5%, 37.4% and 15.4% in 2009. 3) From the perspective of consumption, the actual savings of land resources increased from 6.87×106 hm2 in 2000 to 28.51×106 hm2 in 2009. The external dependence of China’s soybean resources rose from 42.0% in 2000 to 76.1% in 2009. Accordingly, the dependences upon U.S.A, Brazil and Argentina are 36.1%, 28.1% and 12.4%.
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