The visit of the Chinese President to the US this week is providing hopeful signs that Chinese purchase of US ag products will continue strong. The visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping will provide an opportunity for the US and China to resolve several outstanding agricultural trade issues. Sec of Ag Tom Vilsack said discussion will center around Chinese approval of US biotech products, “They are our No. 1 customer, so we need to be aware of that but we need to move to a science-based system.” He added that US agriculture would do fine under such a system.
Some market analysts have feared a downturn in the Chinese economy would lead to a cut in imports of US corn and soybeans, but USDA trade analyst David Stallings says, “China will continue to be a major importer of food for a long time.” Stallings says, while there may be year to year fluctuations, over the long haul China will continue to be our largest customer, “We are forecasting that imports of US corn and soybeans into China will grow by 40% between now and 2024.” Additionally, he said by 2024 China will import 70% of all the soybeans on the world market. His analysis also shows continued growth of Chinese purchases of US beef and pork.