Chinese importers buy USA soy cargoes - traders

Virginia Carson
December 14, 2018

China intends to announce this month a batch of USA soybean purchases, according to government officials, after the country's imports of the product from American farmers plunged because of the trade conflict.

"We are seeing risk sentiment stabilising a bit", said Societe Generale strategist Alvin Tan.

This month in Argentina, President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to a truce that delayed the planned January 1 US increase of tariffs to 25 percent from 10 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. Articles appear on euronews.com for a limited time. Ford exports more of its cars to China than GM, Dzichek said, because it has less of a footprint in the country.

China and the United States have been engaged in a trade war after Trump announced in June that $50 billion worth of Chinese goods would be subject to 25 percent tariffs in a bid to fix the US-Chinese trade deficit.

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"We expect China to resume purchases of other farm products from the United States, including corn", said Li.

Meng was arrested December 1 in Vancouver on US charges related to possible violations of trade sanctions on Iran.

It is a step toward cooling the rising trade tensions between the two countries, but its actual effect on US automakers may be limited, said Kristin Dzichek, an analyst with the Center for Automotive Research.

But U.S. officials have been skeptical about China's willingness to back down from its global technology ambitions.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping's government has taken steps this week to soothe the US, including a plan to cut tariffs on USA cars to 15 percent from 40 percent.

"I've heard rumors that they're going to buy our beans and put them in reserve, but I don't see ships sitting in our ports to haul them to China yet", said John Heisdorffer, an Iowa soybean grower and chairman of the American Soybean Association, on Wednesday. USA business executives are now bracing for further retaliation from China due to Meng's arrest. There was also no response from the White House nor the US Trade Representative's Office.

The 25 percent tariff on US soybeans Beijing imposed on July 6 remains in effect. There was no record of major Chinese purchases on Tuesday in the market or in daily export data. Brazil will start harvesting its next crop in early 2019 - leaving a window for the U.S.to sell.

Trump reportedly said "If I think it's good for what will be certainly the largest trade deal ever made - which is a very important thing - what's good for national security - I would certainly intervene if I thought it was necessary".

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