Friday, May 31, 2019

USDA predicts sharp decrease in ag exports to China in fiscal year 2019, mostly because of falling soybean sales

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest trade forecast posted Thursday: "American farmers and ranchers are expected to send just $6.5 billion in exports to China in fiscal 2019, accelerating a downward slide over the past two years because of the U.S.-China trade war," Catherine Boudreau reports for Politico. "Last year, the U.S. shipped $16.8 billion in agricultural products to China, and in fiscal 2017 exports totaled $21.8 billion."

The decrease is mostly because of falling soybean sales. In fiscal year 2019, U.S. soybean exports are estimated to total $17 billion, down from $21.6 billion in fiscal 2018, which ended Sept. 30. China has historically been America's top customer for soybeans, but bought far less last year because of the trade war and because African swine fever, which devastated China's hog supply, reduced its need for animal feed, Boudreau notes. 

During trade talks earlier this year, China promised to buy an extra 10 million tons of U.S. soybeans, but put that on hold after President Trump imposed more tariffs on Chinese goods. 

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