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China Trade War Not Ending Soon

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The trade war between China and the U.S. will not be ending soon. President Donald Trump recently told Agri-Pulse that “you’ve got to have a little time,” referring to when trade relations may return to normal or better status between the United States and China. President Trump is scheduled to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 meeting in Argentina, but those talks are not likely to propel any major shift toward reaching an agreement on the future of trade between the two nations.

The trade war started with Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs, quickly escalating to include tariffs on U.S. farm products, most notably soybeans and pork. Further, a recent survey reported by Reuters shows that 85 percent of U.S. businesses surveyed say they have suffered from the trade war’s tariffs, and nearly half of the companies reported increases in non-tariff barriers, as well.

The trade war between the U.S. and China is likely to shift U.S. soybean plantings to corn. For the first time in three decades, U.S. farmers planted more soybeans than corn in 2018. However, that’s likely to reverse again due to tariffs on U.S. soybeans from the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China. Dow Jones Business and Financial News reports farmers could convert as much as four million acres from soybeans to corn next spring.

For 2018, the Department of Agriculture estimated U.S. farmers planted 89.1 million acres of corn, and 89.6 million acres of soybeans. Soybean inspections from U.S. west coast ports are down 82 percent from year-ago levels, and soybean prices have dropped 11 percent as China has enforced a 25 percent tariff on U.S. soybeans. Market experts say final planting decisions for 2019 may not occur until weeks or even days before farmers plant fields due to the uncertainty over tariffs.

Source: NAFB News Service