Report: China's soybean demand could push prices skyward  China's seemingly insatiable demand for commodities is eroding stockpiles and driving up prices, according to a recently published report. As a result of surging Chinese demand, soybean prices could soar throughout 2011 - and potentially for years to come.

China has moved to feed a record pig herd using soybeans and is importing the food source from the U.S. at a fast clip. The country has doubled meat consumption over the past 20 years and increasingly craves soybeans to feed its burgeoning stock of animals. According to government data, China could purchase 33 percent more soybeans by 2014 to 66.9 million metric tons.

Meanwhile, U.S. farmers have cut back on soybean planting as they reap higher profits from corn, Bloomberg reports. In a survey of 20 analysts the news agency conducted, they predicted soybean prices could rise 21 percent to $16.80 per bushel by December 31 of this year. China accounts for roughly 50 percent of global pork production and it is struggling to feed the record-sized herd this year.

"China is building a livestock and meat industry in five years that took the United States 50 years," said Wells Fargo senior agricultural economist Michael Swanson. "U.S. farm trade with China may double in the next five years."
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