The USDA is now confirming what most already know: The Chinese tariffs on U.S. soybeans are taking a toll on U.S. exports.

The department on Thursday lowered its forecast for soybean exports in the 2018-19 marketing year by 250 million bushels and USDA Chief Economist Rob Johansson says the U.S.-China trade war is at least partially to blame.

American Soybean Association President John Heisdorffer tells Agri-Pulse that the group is continuing to call on the Trump administration to rescind its tariffs on China for the sake of American farmers who are already feeling the pain of losing the Chinese market.

The new forecast for exports in the department’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report projects U.S. soybean exports at just 2.04 billion bushels, down from the June forecast of 2.29 billion bushels.

China began levying a 25 percent tariff on U.S. soybeans and a wide variety of other farm commodities a week ago, and Thursday’s WASDE was the first crop to reflect the damage those tariffs are doing. China’s new import taxes are retaliation to U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods that are meant to punish the country for theft of intellectual property and convince it to change its ways.

USDA also lowered its prediction for the average farmgate price for soybeans to $8.00 to $10.50 per bushel, down from $8.75 to $11.25.

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