During the second of 2008, the imported priced of genetically (GM) soybeans price dropped to 3,000 yuan per ton. Due to rising competition from imported soybeans, at the same time, the purchasing price of domestic Non-GM soybeans also dropped to 3,000 yuan per ton, in spite of higher production costs.
In order to protect local farmers, from October 2008 to June 2009, the central government totally bought 7.2 million tons of soybeans at 3,700 yuan per ton in three major growing areas -- Inner Mongolia, Liaoning province and Heilongjiang province. Heilongjiang’s crushers could not afford expensive domestic soybeans -- 3,700 yuan per ton, and also were not allowed to buy imported soybeans.
As a result, 68 major soybean crushers and more small-scale crushers had to shut down their business since late 2008. As the quality of most soybeans could not meet high standards of the governmental stockpile, 60% to 70% of local farmers in Heilongjiang province finally sold their soybeans to distributers as well as crushers at 3,000 to 3,200 yuan per ton.