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.
A year after making soybeans the most widely grown crop in the country, U.S. farmers will make corn king again, driven by trade war with China and a burdensome soy stockpile, said the FAPRI think tank at the University of Missouri. "China's tariffs will reduce U.S. soybean exports," said FAPRI. The research group expects farmers will slash soybean plantings by 5.5 percent in 2019 in the face of the lowest market price in 12 years.
U.S. farm income is higher than expected this year and is regaining its footing after taking a tumble early this decade, said the Agriculture Department on Thursday. Nonetheless, net farm income will be the lowest since 2006, and the debt-to-asset ratio is rising for the sixth year in a row.
Many states have reported significant complaints from farmers about dicamba damage to their crops and plants, said an association of state pesticide regulators in calling for the EPA to tighten its rules on use of the weedkiller.
Environmental groups told a U.S. appeals court on Wednesday that the EPA had failed to properly assess the risks posed by the weedkiller dicamba to nearby crops and should be ordered to revoke its approval of Monsanto’s version of the herbicide, reported Reuters.
Crop and livestock producers are likely to learn on Monday how the Trump administration will allocate up to $12 billion in aid to offset the impact of retaliatory Chinese tariffs on the U.S. farm sector, said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.
Soybeans are the largest U.S. farm export to China, and growers of the oilseed may be in line for huge federal payments, worth an average of $85 an acre, to offset the impact of retaliatory Chinese tariffs. Corn growers, meanwhile, might not get enough per acre to buy a cup of coffee at many restaurants.