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January 8, 2019 -- U.S. exports of soybeans to China -- the world’s biggest market -- have all but collapsed, leaving farmers with a record 125 million-tonne crop, and boosting soy exports from Brazil to a new high, according to the U.S. Federal Grain Inspection Service.
In 2017, the largest soybean supplier to China was Brazil at 54 million tonnes, followed by the United States at 32 million tonnes.
However, after the Trump Administration imposed 25 per cent duty on $50 billion Chinese products in May 2018, Beijing responded with 25-per cent tariffs on soybeans. These tariffs resulted in soy exports to China between September and December shrinking to just 341,000 tonnes of a record 125 million-tonne crop, compared with 18 million tonnes in the same period of 2017.
Chinese purchasers are now looking to Brazil to make up the shortfall. Figures from the Brazilian National Association of Grain Exporters (ANEC) showed that in 2018 Brazil sent 82% of its global soy exports to China, reaching 80.1 million tonnes -- an increase of 48 per cent -- at the expense of U.S. farmers.
Soybeans led U.S. agricultural product exports with $21.6 billion and 15.6 per cent of total U.S. agricultural exports ($138.5 billion) in 2017. The U.S. exported soybeans worth $12.4 billion to China in 2017.