Trade War: China Cancels Soybean Orders and Hurts U.S. Farmers

"Chinese importers have canceled purchases of corn and cut orders for pork,” The Wall Street Journal reports. Chinese importers’ new orders of sorghum, a grain used in animal feed, have dwindled while cancellations increased.

Livestock operations and food processors in China typically switch their soybean purchasing from the U.S. to Brazil and Argentina in the North American springtime, as South American farmers harvest crops and their beans become cheaper. But analysts say China’s reluctance to put on advance orders for U.S. crops indicates growing worries that tariffs will leave importers facing losses on each shipment.

China has apparently stopped buying U.S. soybeans, escalating the trade war, according to Bunge Ltd., the world’s largest oilseed producer.

In early April, China announced a 25 percent tariff on American soybeans but did not announce when it would take effect. In mid-April, it canceled orders for a net 62,690 metric tons of U.S. soybeans. South American countries are typically the leading global exporters of soybeans in the late spring and early- to mid-summer.

China is the U.S.’s biggest customer for soybeans and will hurt U.S. soybean farmers.

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