Wednesday, January 09, 2019

U.S. soybean exports to EU quadruple, could keep rising

The European Union nearly quadrupled soybean imports from the United States in the latter half of 2018, according to a Jan. 7 announcement from the European Commission, saying that imports totaled 5.2 million metric tons from July through December, up 112 percent from the same period a year before, Eric Schroeder reports for World Grain. An EC spokesperson said American soybean imports will probably increase since U.S. soybeans may soon be approved for use in biofuels.

However, the spokesperson said the increase was due to market forces, and wasn't a political decision stemming from trade talks with the U.S. "Market analysts said the surge was caused by plunging prices in June, as China largely stopped buying U.S. soybeans in retaliation for trade measures" aimed at China, Robert-Jan Bartunek reports for Reuters. The EU gets most of its soybeans from Brazil and about a third from the U.S., annually about 14 million metric tons (15.4 million tons).

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said today that agriculture will not be discussed in upcoming trade talks between the U.S. and the EU, Chris Prentice reports for Reuters.

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