Looking Past China, What Are the Next Big Ag Trade Moves for Biden Administration?


By Tyne Morgan, Drovers 

February 12, 2021


Trade seems to be taking a back seat in Washington right now. From COVID-19 recovery to a focus on climate, other issues are taking priority in the new White House.


And as agriculture awaits record purchases from China to ship, reports show for the first time since the election, President Biden talked with China President Xi Jinping on the phone this week. Reuters reported  Xi told Biden that confrontation would be a "disaster," and the two sides should re-establish the means to avoid misjudgments.


While the country waits to see what type of approach Biden will take with China, the Asian country has a record number of corn sales on the books, with the path now potentially paved for a record-setting export year.


“The potential is there,” says Ryan LeGrand, president and CEO of the U.S. Grains Council. “I don't want to jinx it by saying this, but I think we can do it. And shipments need to really pick up. We need to see those shipments, but I think we can get it done.”


From a roaring start in 2021 on corn to the strong finish in 2020 for pork, exports have a powerful story to tell.


“2020 was by far a record year on pork exports,” says Dan Halstrom, president and CEO of the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). “We were up to 14% or 15% for the year. Of course, the main story, one of the main storylines there is China.”


USMEF expects China’s record appetite for pork to taper off this year...


... Halstrom says beef buys are also picking up with beef exports setting a new record in December. While the entire year wasn’t as strong, Halstrom thinks 2021 could be different.


“The last quarter of 2020 was very robust,” says Halstrom...


more, including links, video report [7:12 min.]