Pork, Soybeans Expected Winners if China Dials Up Ag Imports

Now that President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping have agreed to a temporary trade truce, and China has promised to buy “large amounts” of ag products from U.S. farmers, according to Trump, what can Americans expect to find on China’s shopping list?

Soybeans are likely to be prominent. Growers of the oilseed have been among the hardest hit by Trump’s trade war, given China’s position as the top export market for U.S. soybeans. Beijing bought another 544,000 metric tons last week, its largest purchase since March, in a potential goodwill gesture ahead of the G-20 meeting.

Pork could be another centerpiece. Like soybean farmers, pork producers have been slammed by Trump’s trade feuds, especially with China and Mexico. But with African swine fever decimating China’s massive pig herds, Beijing could now turn to U.S. hog farmers to fill the country’s appetite for the protein.

Ethanol exports to China could also rise. That would help ease some of the political pressure from corn growers and biofuel producers—a key constituency that has complained that some of the administration’s policies are harming demand for ethanol.

But, China doesn’t maintain government reserves of ethanol, and its tariffs are prohibitive, so there’s not much space for Beijing to buy up huge amounts.

Sources: Reuters and Politico