China cuts US soybean imports by more than 80% as tariffs bite

Date: Friday, November 2nd, 2018
Source: AJOT

China, the world’s biggest soybean importer, cut shipments of the oilseed from the U.S. by more than 80 percent in September from a year earlier as retaliatory tariffs imposed as part of the ongoing trade war between the world’s top two economies take their toll.

Inbound cargoes from the U.S. plunged to 132,000 metric tons from 937,000 tons in the same month last year, Bloomberg calculations based on customs data show. China published a country breakdown of imports for the first time since March. The U.S. loss was Brazil’s gain as the world’s top soybean exporter boosted shipments 28 percent to 7.59 million tons, the data show.

China imported the smallest volume of soybeans for September in two years and inbound cargoes in the fourth quarter are set to slump 17 percent from a year earlier to 20 million tons as the country shuns U.S. soybeans that incur a 25 percent tariff, said the China National Grain and Oils Information Center.

Low imports by China will lead U.S. farmers to build up an historically high level of soybean inventories that will carry through until next year, Soren Schroder, chief executive officer of Bunge Ltd., said in an interview Wednesday.

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