Private exporters reported the sale of 1.15 million tonnes of U.S. corn for delivery to China by the end of August, said the USDA on Tuesday. The corn, equivalent to 45.3 million bushels, was worth $251 million based on futures prices in Chicago.
The world's most populous country is already its largest meat-importing nation and "looks like it's poised to play a major role in meat markets in the future," said USDA senior economist Fred Gale on Thursday. China's imports of beef, pork, and poultry are projected by the USDA to grow 29 percent in the coming decade.
China bought a mammoth 5.85 tonnes of American-grown corn last week, including 2.108 million tonnes on the same day that the White House said the "phase one agreement" that de-escalated the trade war was under review. "The national security team, the newly confirmed secretary of state, President Biden are all reviewing all aspects of our national security approach, including certainly our relationship with China," said press secretary Jen Psaki.
China failed to meet its "phase one" target for imports of U.S. food, agriculture, and seafood products despite a surge in purchases that began late last summer, said the Peterson Institute for International Economics on Thursday.
While China may not meet the first-year target under the "phase one" trade agreement, it is buying huge amounts of U.S. food, agriculture, and seafood products that could total $31 billion over 12 months, said Iowa State economist Wendong Zhang at a farm conference on Thursday. Neither Zhang nor Ohio State professor Ian Sheldon said they expected the Biden administration to roll back U.S. tariffs on China in the near term.
The "phase one" agreement that de-escalated the Sino-U.S. trade war is not paying off in massive sales of U.S. products, including food and agricultural exports, to China or in the long-term reform of Chinese trade practices, said Chad Brown of the Peterson Institute for International Economics. "(President) Trump's trade war has failed to address what really ails the U.S.-China trade relationship," wrote Brown in a blog. "It is time for a new approach."
In a speech at the Iowa State Fairgrounds, Vice President Mike Pence pointed on Thursday to China's promises to roughly double its purchases of U.S. farm exports as evidence that there is "no greater fighter on trade than President Donald Trump." The pledge was part of the "phase one" agreement that de-escalated the Sino-U.S. trade war and is scheduled for a six-month review by the two nations this weekend.
China bought $188 million worth of U.S. soybeans on Monday, continuing a string of purchases that began last week, as the world's two largest economies approach a six-month review of the "phase one" agreement that de-escalated the trade war.
President Trump is "going after China the wrong way" in a go-it-alone trade war that has damaged U.S. agriculture and manufacturing, said Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, in an interview to be aired on Thursday.