In this file:


·         Initial Chinese Tariffs Could Become Permanent Despite Trade Truce

·         China likely to resume U.S. soy deals, but action on tariffs uncertain: USDA chief

·         US trade war truce may be shortlived

·         Analyst: Negativity Surrounding Ceasefire’s Impact on Ag is Nonsense



Initial Chinese Tariffs Could Become Permanent Despite Trade Truce


By Anna-Lisa Laca, Farm Journal's Milk, Online and Business Editor

via AgWeb - Dec 3, 2018


President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jingping agreed to what’s essentially a trade timeout over the weekend at the G20. President Trump agreed not to further increase tariff rates on January 1 as previously threatened and in return, President Xi agreed to purchase an ambiguous “substantial” amount of American goods including soybeans. Still, analysts point out that the tariffs are still in place and could become permanent despite this twist in the trade trauma.


“The agreement hints that the initial 25 percent tariffs that Mr. Trump placed on $50 billion in Chinese goods last summer could become permanent — if not in place for a protracted period,” The New York Times reported on Monday adding that the initial tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese imports could be in place until it is clear that China has kept its promises of wholesale structural changes.


Despite President Trump’s claims on Twitter that China is going to be “opening up” their markets, the official statement released by the White House only hints to a Chinese purchase. It says nothing about tariffs being lifted following the 90-day trade truce.


In his statements following the two-hour dinner meeting between Trump and Xi, United States Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, suggested the tariffs could be phased out if China follows through on their promises to make changes on several points of tension between the two countries.


Still, analysts aren’t convinced the situation gets resolved quickly.


On Sunday, Goldman Sachs economist Alec Phillips told investors...


more, including links



China likely to resume U.S. soy deals, but action on tariffs uncertain: USDA chief


Tom Polansek, Reuters

December 3, 2018


CHICAGO (Reuters) - China will probably resume buying American soybeans around Jan. 1 because of limited supplies in Brazil after slashing imports from the United States due to the U.S.-China trade war, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said on Monday.


It has “yet to be determined” whether China will remove tariffs on imports of American soybeans as part of a truce agreed between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Argentina on Saturday, Perdue said.


His projection that the world’s top soy importer would restart deals with the United States offers hope to U.S. farmers who have suffered as the dispute between the top two economies has hurt crop prices.


China bought about 60 percent of U.S. soybean exports last year in deals worth $12 billion, but has mostly been buying from Brazil since imposing its 25 percent tariff on American soybeans in July in retaliation for U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods.


“We don’t think there’s enough soybean supply in South America to tide them over to the new crop (in) South America,” Perdue told reporters at an agricultural conference. Latin American crops will be ready to harvest in early 2019.


China and the United States agreed in Buenos Aires to refrain from setting additional tariffs that would escalate the row that has crippled U.S agricultural exports.


The United States said Beijing also promised to buy an unspecified but “very substantial” amount of farm, energy, industrial and other products, with purchases of agricultural goods to start “immediately.”


Perdue did not have details about the size and timing of deals, but said he expects China’s first agricultural purchases to be soybeans.


U.S. soy exports to China are down about 45 percent this year through the end of September, according to USDA data.


“We think they’re going to have to come back into the United States market and we’re hopeful this announcement in Argentina will facilitate that more quickly,” Perdue said.


China also could buy U.S. rice, poultry, grain sorghum and wheat, Perdue said...





US trade war truce may be shortlived



via The Malaysian Reserve - Dec 4, 2018


HONG KONG • Exporters of bags to toys in China cautioned that the trade war truce between the US and China may provide just a minor respite in hostilities.


The US agreed to refrain from raising tariffs on US$200 billion (RM832 billion) of Chinese goods from a current 10% to punitive levels of 25% as planned on Jan 1, according to announcements that followed the meeting between US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Argentina. China agreed to buy American agricultural, energy and industrial goods.


The catch: The ceasefire is just for 90 days, after which the US could revert to its tariff- raising plan if it sees no progress on structural reform.


That timeline could be too tight to make progress on contentious issues such as China’s policies on technology transfers, intellectual property right protections and state-sector subsidies.


“Winter will continue,” said Jennie Zhang, chairman of Guangzhou Jinhuamei Leatherware Co Ltd, a maker of leather belts and handbags that were hit by the 10% tariffs Trump imposed. “The actual agreement seems more like just slightly delaying the problem instead of coming up with effective solutions.”


The two countries didn’t issue a joint statement with a framework for talks. A statement released by the Chinese government didn’t mention the 90-day time frame.


Since April, the Trump administration has announced three rounds of tariffs on as much as US$250 billion of imports from China. In September, Trump threatened to go all-in with tariffs on the remaining Chinese products “on short notice if I want” — a step that could have meant higher prices on popular imports such as Apple smartphones and Nike shoes.


Investors in Hong Kong are cheering the US-China detente.


Chinese pork producer WH Group Ltd, owner of US-based Smithfield Foods Inc, soared 12%. Hurt by China’s tariffs on American meat, WH has been the fifth-worst performer on the Hang Seng this year.


Shares of Shenzhou International Group Holdings Ltd...





Analyst: Negativity Surrounding Ceasefire’s Impact on Ag is Nonsense


By Tyne Morgan, US Farm Report, Host

via AgWeb - December 4, 2018


Unknowns regarding the 90-day trade truce between the U.S. and China still persist. It’s some of those unknowns causing bearish outlooks to surface, with some economists and analysts saying China won’t buy U.S. ag goods right away. However, Allendale’s Bill Biedermann says that negativity is nonsense.


Tuesday morning on Fox Business Treasury Secretary Steve Mnunchin said agriculture will be the first line item in trade talks. He said, “Our expectation is that there will be specific deliverables” and timelines from China.


Biederamann said farmers will be the first beneficiary of any deal with China, followed by natural gas. Mnuchin said Monday the deal with China could be worth $1.2 trillion. Biedermann said with a deal that big, it will take time to iron out details, but the rewards from any deal for agriculture could be great.


“That’s a lot of money and a lot of trade,” said Biedermann.


Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said on Monday in Chicago that he thinks China will come back to the market and start buying January 1, 2019, while the current tariffs on agriculture goods still remain in place. However, Biedermann doesn’t think the tariffs will harm ag exports in the interim.


“I don’t think that’s going to be an issue for the market,” said Biedermann. “I think they are going to buy anyway. It is going to take some time. This is a really big deal, and if I was China, as far as I’m concerned, I would be telling all my buyers ‘go out and get it bought, get it bought now, and then after you have it bought, I’ll announce we’re going to reduce the tariffs on U.S. beans.’ Everybody will make money if they do it that way.”


Perdue also said Monday China would buy a number of U.S. ag goods, including rice, poultry, sorghum, wheat, pork and soybeans


Despite the good news, Biedermann said traders continue to be bearish. That bearishness isn’t necessary, as he thinks China is already coming back to the market to buy.


“I don’t agree with all these people who are bearish, saying it’s not going to happen,” said Biedermann. “in fact, there are have been three U.S. ‘unknown’ purchases of soybeans in the last five days. I think it’s about ten cargoes. It’s a lot of beans. I think that could be China. I don’t know—I’m just guessing, but I do know they’ve bought some pork lately, too.”


Biedermann said when you look at recent exports, the shuffling game has already happened for soybeans, with countries stepping up to buy U.S. soybeans.


“We’ve had about 300 million bushels of buys outside of China—non normal buyers- buy from us,” said Biedermann. “That’s a pretty good amount of demand.”


He said if you look at the exports already on the table, and then you throw China into the market and they start buying, it only builds into that momentum.


‘”I don’t’ think there’s a lot of downside in this market,” said Biedermann...


more, including video report [3:35 min.]