The Market Facilitation Program trade payments expected early this month to farmers are on hold, for now. The White House is delaying the second round of payments amid the expectation China will soon resume buying U.S. soybeans. The payments, as part of the $12 billion trade mitigation package, are being held up by the White House Office of Management and Budget, where the package has been stalled for more than a week.
Sources close to the matter told Reuters that the payment will likely eventually be approved after some “back and forth.” A Department of Agriculture spokesperson says USDA is “in discussions” with the White House and anticipate the payment rates will be “published before the end of the year.” The delay comes as China recently pledged to resume purchases of U.S. soybeans. Export inspections for U.S. soybeans are down 42 percent from last year due to the trade war, and the halt of purchases by China.
Bloomberg News reports China plans to announce the purchases this month, which will be destined for state reserves. The final decision will be made by the State Council or cabinet, and details to be decided include whether the volume should be five million tons or eight million tons and if commercial companies should buy a further two million tons and be reimbursed for the 25 percent tariffs.
Source: NAFB News Service