The market fear has raised since China issued the new tariff list of 106 U.S. products. Targeting at soybean, corn, cotton, sorghum and other U.S. agricultural exports, the additional tariff would result in the severe export decline as well as the growing panic of U.S. farming and agricultural industry. Today, U.S. soybean market’s biggest fear has been confirmed. Bunge, world’s biggest oilseed processor says China has essentially stopped buying U.S. supplies amid the brewing trade war, reported by Bloomberg.
Instead of buying U.S. soybeans, China is turning the sourcing region to Brazil and Canada, mostly Brazil. Many experts have predicted Brazil would be one of the beneficiaries in U.S-China trade war and the best alternative soybean exporter to the U.S.. Soren Schroder, chief executive of Bunge, said that he saw the U.S. making “very little if any” sales of soybeans to China, and not sure about how long it will last.
The trade tensions have exerted big cloud of uncertainty, however, the trade talk between Beijing and White House delegation seems failed to bring the two countries back from the brink since Chinese buyers have already reacted to the threat that crops purchased now for future delivery could be slapped with tariffs, Mr. Schroder said.
China is used to be the top buyer of U.S. soybeans, but at a current price of about $420 per ton, that translates to a potential tax of more than $100 per ton on shipments. According to Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics：“If a 25 percent tariff applies, the U.S. soybean exports to China could drop by $1.4 billion to $7.7 billion and would result in a potential farm-level loss of 33 cents to $1.76 per bushel”. Statistics also showed a 10% sales decrease of the U.S. soybeans to China over the last four weeks, and is likely to drop more in next month.
Meanwhile, China has canceled a net 62,690 metric tons of U.S. soybean purchases compared to the past year in the two weeks ended April 19, the time that South American countries have completed harvest and dominate the soybean shipment for several months. USDA estimates that in 2017-2018 season, Brazil’s lead on global exports is expected to hit a record high as it sells 73.1 million tons abroad versus 56.2 million from the U.S.
China is the key market for U.S. agricultural exports, which had generated $20 billion for American farmers annual year. In addition to soybeans, other agricultural products like corn, sorghum and pork are also experiencing price volatility. Overall, Chinese tariffs on U.S. soybeans has negatively impacted U.S. soybean output, and it’s would be a “profound” loss to U.S. economy.