On Wednesday, the Trump administration turned a weekend threat into a promise of sharply higher tariffs on Chinese products and Beijing declared it would take the “necessary countermeasures” — all on the day before ministerial-level talks to resolve the Sino-U.S. trade war were set to resume.
China will remain the world’s largest soybean importer in coming years even if the trade war with the United States is not settled, but it won’t be buying as much of the oilseed, said USDA analysts on Wednesday.
President Trump put his weight behind an announcement that China, amid negotiations to end the trade war, committed to buy 10 million tonnes of U.S. soybeans. The decision, announced on social media by Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Friday, would more than double Chinese purchases this marketing year but still
Cotton growers plan to expand their plantings by a sharp 3 percent this spring, taking away land from soybeans, the most prominent casualty of the Sino-U.S. trade war, said the National Cotton Council over the weekend. Meanwhile, the USDA said the soybean stockpile will double in size by the time this year's crop is ready to harvest, creating the largest "carryover" ever.
In a break from the trade war, China made its third purchase of U.S. soybeans in a week, said the USDA on Wednesday. The purchases followed a meeting between President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Buenos Aires that Trump said would result in significant exports to China.
China made its first major purchase of U.S. soybeans since Donald Trump and Xi Jinping agreed two weeks ago to try to settle the Sino-U.S. trade dispute, said the USDA on Thursday. The purchase, however, was too small to convince growers that China will return to its role as the biggest customer for U.S. soy exports.
Forced by the trade war, China, the world’s largest soybean importer, and the United States, the largest grower, are on the prowl for new soybean trading partners, though neither will fully replace the other soon, said the USDA on Thursday.
The U.S. share of the Chinese soybean market shrank during the marketing year that ended Aug. 31 and, with the trade war underway, shipments are anemic in the new sales year, says the USDA: "A large pullback in Chinese demand for U.S. soybeans appears likely to continue well into 2918/19."
As a consequence of the Sino-U.S. trade war, Brazil is likely to ship nearly 60 million tonnes of soybeans to China this calendar year, a 9-percent increase from 2017, say USDA analysts. While the United States is effectively shut out of China because of high tariffs, "U.S. trade opportunities for markets outside of China would rise by nearly 13 million tonnes in the coming (trade) year, compared to 2016/17," according to the monthly Oilseeds: World Markets and Trade report.
Chinese imports of soybeans during July were 8 percent smaller than in June as the nation digested a soy glut at its ports, said AgriCensus on Wednesday. Imports tumbled at the same time that China imposed retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods in the escalating tit-for-tat trade war with the United States.