USDA reports released Thursday show China has purchased another 1,400 metric tons of U.S. beef and 272,000 tons of U.S. soybeans, demonstrating importers are successfully getting exemptions to the country’s tariffs.

The new sale of 1,400 tons of beef, made in the week period beginning April 10, comes on top of a 1,500-ton purchase made earlier this month — the highest weekly purchase ever for China, according to U.S. Meat Export Federation spokesman Joe Schuele – and it’s fresh evidence that China is continuing to make purchases after agreeing to tear down trade restrictions this year.

USMEF economist Erin Borror tells Agri-Pulse the group “forecasts U.S. beef and variety meat exports to China/Hong Kong will total around $1.2 billion in 2020, up 43% from last year. The combination of the implementation of the 'phase one' agreement, China’s … tariff exclusion process and the gradual reopening of China’s economy are the basis for this estimate.”

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The new export sale of 272,000 tons of U.S. soybeans for delivery to China this marketing year follows on the heels of a similar purchase of 198,000 tons announced Wednesday.

Brazil — China's largest soybean supplier — is still selling new crop soybeans from its recent harvest, but prices for U.S. soybeans are competitive, says John Baize, an analyst with the U.S. Soybean Export Council.

Baize says he believes China is likely restocking its emergency reserves and stressed that he expects the pace of imports to pick up in May.

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