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In Depth: Why China Is Still Hooked on U.S. Soybeans

By Huang Shulun and Liu Jiefei / Oct 31, 2019 01:40 PM / Politics & Law

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

These days, Xu Jianfei, managing director of soybean trading company Huahong Investment, regularly works until midnight — tracking down suppliers, organizing transport and consulting with clients.

It’s a common story among Chinese soybean traders who have been forced to scour the world for new sources of the legume in a bid to reduce their dependence on imports from the United States, with which China is engaged in a protracted trade war.

Before tensions surfaced between the world’s two biggest economies, the U.S. was China’s biggest source of soybean imports. But Beijing has choked those off in a bid to hurt American farmers and retaliate against Washington’s import tariffs on billions of dollars of Chinese goods.

It’s been an uphill struggle to find alternatives, Chinese buyers say. “Sourcing options are limited,” Xu told Caixin in a recent interview. “We’ve reached an inflection point in terms of where China gets its soybeans from, but the global supply chain hasn’t yet adjusted to this new situation.”

Read the full story later today on Caixin Global.

Contact reporter Liu Jiefei ( 

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