The Agriculture Department published a list of hundreds of beef and pork production and storage facilities that are now eligible to export to China under the new, less-restrictive regulations negotiated in the “phase one” trade agreement.
Commodity markets continue to skid and farmers are heading into planting season facing the prospect of a global recession spawned by the coronavirus pandemic that could further depress demand for key ag commodities, including meat and ethanol, economists say.
The historic “phase one” trade deal with China will boost American ag trade with the country, but it’s not likely to have a major impact on overall U.S. trade at a time when the farm sector here is increasingly dependent on international sales, USDA Chief Economist Robert Johansson tells Agri-Pulse.
China will follow through with the billions of dollars in additional ag purchases that it promised to make as part of the “phase one” trade pact with the U.S., but the coronavirus outbreak may delay the sales, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told reporters Thursday.
Farmers are expected to produce record amounts of meat, milk and major crops this year as the agriculture economy rebounds from 2019’s trade and weather disruptions, but exports are forecast to rise relatively modestly in coming months despite the new trade deal with China, USDA says.
China’s Finance Ministry announced Thursday that on Feb. 14 it will cut tariff rates on $75 billion worth of U.S. products, including some ag commodities such as soybeans, chicken, pork, oranges and asparagus, but the impact is expected to be minimal.
China is going to lift tariffs to allow in more U.S. soybeans and pork, according to Xinhua News, a government-run media outlet, though it's unclear how much of the U.S. commodities will be allowed in, or for how long.