In this file:


·         U.S. farmers suffer 'body blow' as China slams door on farm purchases

·         Tiff With China Continues, How Are Other Trade Deals Moving Along?

·         China announces ban on ag products from USA

·         Who holds the Trump card in the trade war?



U.S. farmers suffer 'body blow' as China slams door on farm purchases


By Hallie Gu and Tom Daly, Reuters

via New Hampshire Union Leader - Aug 5, 2019


BEIJING — Chinese companies have stopped buying U.S. agricultural products, China’s Commerce Ministry said on Tuesday, a blow to U.S. farmers who have already seen their exports slashed by the more than year-old trade war.


China may impose additional tariffs on U.S. farm products bought shortly before the purchase ban took effect, China’s Commerce Ministry said. China also let the yuan weaken past the key 7-per-dollar level on Monday for the first time in more than a decade.


Before the trade war started, China bought $19.5 billion worth of farm goods in 2017, mainly soybeans, dairy, sorghum and pork. The trade war reduced those sales to $9.1 billion in 2018, according to the American Farm Bureau.


China’s Ministry of Commerce said in a statement it hoped the United States would keep its promises and create the “necessary conditions” for bilateral cooperation.


President Donald Trump said on Thursday that Beijing had not fulfilled a promise to buy large volumes of U.S. farm products and vowed to impose new tariffs on around $300 billion of Chinese goods, abruptly ending a truce in the Sino-U.S. trade war.


Earlier, China’s state broadcaster CCTV reported an official from China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) as saying Trump’s accusations were “groundless.”


China is the world’s top buyer of soybeans, the most valuable U.S. export crop. The Trump administration has announced plans to spend up to $28 billion compensating U.S. farmers, a key Trump constituency, for lost income from trade disputes.


American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall called the announcement “a body blow to thousands of farmers and ranchers who are already struggling to get by.”


The National Pork Producers Council said in an email it was important to end the trade war so pork producers could “more fully participate in a historic sales opportunity.”


Farmers can start applying for the next round of trade aid this month, but trade uncertainty makes long-term planning difficult.


“We’ve been thankful for the aid payments. They have helped but we’d rather have open markets because it creates stability in our financial sectors,” said Derek Sawyer, 39, a corn, soybean, wheat and cattle farmer from McPherson, Kan.


“There’s just so much volatility right now because nobody knows the rules of the game and nobody knows how to look at things going forward”...





Tiff With China Continues, How Are Other Trade Deals Moving Along?


by Betsy Jibben, AgWeb 

Aug 05, 2019


News last week about trade tensions are continuing on Monday.


The stock and agricultural markets still taking a hit on Monday morning after the Trump Administration declared it will implement more tariffs on China. News after China said it is prepared to take action back on the United States.


Bloomberg reporting China has asked its state-owned enterprises to suspend imports of U.S. agricultural products because of it.


In addition, Washington D.C. may look a little quiet now since Congress is at recess but the city was buzzing last week.


That’s because trade agricultural negotiators flew around the world to discuss trade deals...





China announces ban on ag products from USA


Vincent ter Beek, Pig Progress

Aug 6, 2019    


In a next round of measures and counter-measures in a trade dispute between the United States and China, the Chinese government has sent out directives for state-owned agricultural companies not to buy from US suppliers.


The Chinese move is a retaliation to an announcement by the US president Trump to increase taxes for US$ 300 million worth of products with 10% extra, as from September 1. It is believed agriculture is being targeted as the Chinese realise that in the Mid-West is the lion’s share of Mr Trump’s electorate.

African Swine Fever developments


In the light of the current African Swine Fever (ASF) developments, that measure could not come at a worse moment. Although the Chinese authorities have reported barely over 150 outbreaks of ASF to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), recent estimates point into the direction of perhaps up to 50% of the total sow herd being lost in China. Until now, frozen stocks have managed to compensate for the loss of pork, but rising pork prices throughout China demonstrate, according to analysts, that those supplies will come to an end.


China currently imports pork from the EU, Brazil, the USA and until very recently, Canada. As the total number of pigs outside China was roughly the same as the number of pigs inside China, the demand to pork coming from China will be exceeding any country can ever supply. In case the US will not be able to export, pig meat on the world market will become even more scarce, leading to even higher prices.


Soybeans for livestock feeding ...


more, including links, outbreak map



Who holds the Trump card in the trade war?


Source: Grain Brokers Australia

via Queensland Country Life (AU) - 6 Aug 2019


WORLD agricultural commodity markets look set for continued volatility as the trade truce between the US and China appears to be dead in the water.


Late last week both Washington and Beijing released statements suggesting that a deal to end the bitter trade dispute was unlikely in the short term.


Negotiations have been at an impasse since May with both sides claiming the other reneged on provisions of a tentative deal. Tensions escalated last Thursday when The Don (Trump) announced, via Twitter, a new tariff of 10 per cent on US$300 billion worth of Chinese imports that aren't already subject to US duties.


This is on top of the US$250 billion worth of Chinese imports that are already subject to a 25pc tariff imposed mid-way through last year. The new tariff is set to come into effect on September 1.


It was no surprise to see China respond to the latest announcement by saying that they would take all counter-measures necessary as a result of the escalation in the trade conflict.


However, the trade imbalance is a huge challenge for China. Washington has the potential to tax around US$540b worth of Chinese imports, but Beijing only has around US$120b worth of US goods it could target.


That said, President Xi Jinping does hold one significant trump card. China controls more than 90pc of the world's production of rare earths, a group of 17 metals with magnetic and conductive properties that power most of the globe's electronic devices. More importantly, it also accounted for 80pc of all US rare earth mineral imports between 2014 and 2017.


Chinese imports of US agricultural commodities have fallen dramatically as a result of Don's Party (the trade war). Beijing retaliated to the initial round of US duties by slapping a 25pc tariff on a long list of US goods, including soybeans, in July 2018.


China is by far and away the world's biggest importer of soybeans. The burgeoning demand for soybeans in China over the past 10 years has been driven by an explosion in demand for meat as consumers shift from a diet dominated by rice to one where pork, poultry and beef play an increasingly important part.


In 2017, Brazil and the US were the two biggest soybean exporters, totalling US$25.7b and US$21.4b respectively. China accounted for two-thirds of global trade, importing US$39.6b worth of beans.


In the same year, US exports were around a third of Chinese soybean purchases. At just under US$14b, soybeans were the second most valuable US export to China, behind aeroplanes.


However, the US share of that import demand has changed dramatically as a result of Don's Party. Up to the end of May this year, US soybean exports to China were less than 6 million tonnes, with a value of around US$2.7b. In volume terms that is almost an 80pc decrease compared to the three-year average of 29mt for the same period.


It is no accident that the Chinese chose to impose tariffs on soybeans. The biggest producing soybean states are across the US Midwest, and this is The Don's heartland. The farmers voted him into office. Beijing hopes that the farmer will either lobby Washington to solve the impasse or desert Trump at the ballot box in next year's election.


So, what does The Don do to appease the US farmer? He announces another support package worth a monstrous US$16b, that's what!


According to a US Department of Agriculture announcement late last month, the latest Market Facilitation Program payment "is aimed at supporting American agricultural producers while the Administration continues to work on free, fair, and reciprocal trade deals" with China.


This is the second round of trade assistance announced by the US in response to what Washington termed...