U.S. Farmers Plant More Soybeans as China Buys More
What’s new: China’s soybean imports from the U.S. in the first three months rose more than two-fold from the same period last year to 7.8 million tons as China buys to fulfill commitments under a trade deal signed in January.
Purchases are speeding up as the soybean planting season begins. Chinese companies have bought more than 1 million tons of soybeans from the U.S. since late March, according to Xiaoping Zhang, the U.S. Soybean Export Council’s director for China. Between April 22 and May 5, private exporters reported the sale of 1.248 million tons of American soybeans to China, the U.S. Agriculture Department (USDA) said.
Expecting larger orders from China, American farmers are also planting more soybeans. The USDA’s crop progress report Monday showed farmers’ soybean planting completion rate at 23%, the highest since 2014.
The background: Soybeans are the greatest agricultural bargaining chip in the trade talks between the world’s two largest economies. As part of the phase-one trade deal, China promised to buy $80 billion to $90 billion of agricultural products including soybeans.
U.S. President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he will give an update next week on China’s progress in fulfilling promises made in the trade deal.
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