Chinese importers closed contracts to buy 720,000 metric tons of U.S. soybeans – most of it for new crop – according to a USDA announcement Thursday, signaling the country is calculating the growing tightness of Brazilian supplies and locking in deliveries past September.
The fact that Chinese importers purchased between two and three cargoes of U.S. soybeans on Monday has helped quell concerns that the two countries might be rekindling their trade war, but the uncertainty of the situation continues to plague buyers and sellers.
China is buying a lot more U.S. ag commodities and tearing down major import restrictions — just as it promised in the “phase one” trade deal — but the successes of the pact are being drowned out by growing animosity on both sides of the Pacific.
U.S. soybean exports have been steadfastly weathering the severe impacts of COVID-19 around the world, but the pandemic is impacting foreign customers in waves and new threats continue to manifest as nations around the world work to keep their people fed.
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.
China is still battling to contain coronavirus infections, but the U.S. ag sector is taking heart in signs that industry there is coming back to life in time for trade to resume under the “phase one” trade deal.
China’s latest promise to reduce tariffs on U.S. soybeans and pork is being lauded as an olive branch ahead of new trade talks early next month, but China also needs more of the commodities to feed its people, according to industry and government analysts.