After six months of tit-for-tat tariffs between China and the United States, American soybean growers called for a speedy end to the trade war on Monday. "This has been a long and costly half-year for farmers and we need stability returned to this market. We cannot withstand another six months," said Kentucky farmer Davie Stephens, president of the American Soybean Association.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced on Monday the second and final round of $4.8 billion of Trump tariff payments, meaning crop and livestock producers will collect up to $9.6 billion in cash to cushion the impact of the Sino-U.S. trade war. So far, the USDA has sent $2.38 billion in payments to producers of almonds, corn, cotton, dairy, hog, sorghum, soybeans, fresh sweet cherries and wheat.
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.
The USDA anticipates it will announce payment rates before the end of this year for the second round of Trump tariff payments, said an agency spokesperson on Wednesday. The news followed a published report that the White House was delaying the payments.
China, formerly the No. 1 customer for U.S. ag exports, will buy a comparatively paltry $9 billion worth of those exports this fiscal year, a startling 45 percent cutback due to the trade war, said the USDA on Thursday.
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 giant of world soybean trade, China, will slash its soy imports by 10 percent this trade year under the dual effects of trade war with the United States and an outbreak of African swine fever, said the U.S. agriculture attache in Beijing. At the same time, USDA data show a sharp decline in soybean exports to all markets and a trade group said tit-for-tat tariffs are putting pressure on pork sales to China and Mexico.
Corn may be more profitable than soybeans in 2019, but that isn’t saying much about the outlook for midwestern farmers, say a pair of agricultural economists from the University of Illinois.
The mammoth corn and soybean crops awaiting harvest across America are larger than expected, the USDA said on Wednesday in its monthly Crop Production report.