Saturday, December 15, 2018

China resumes buying U.S. soybeans

China has bought 1.43 million tonnes of U.S. soybeans as it extends olive branches to break the trend to rising tariffs against U.S. exports.

It also dropped a 25 per cent tariff on U.S. autos to 15 per cent, the same level charged auto imports from other countries.

U.S. trade negotiators said earlier that China has agreed to buy more agricultural products as part of a good-will gesture related to trade negotiations.

The purchases have also prompted the U.S. Department of Agriculture to put trade-related subsidies on hold, pending the outcome of negotiations.

U.S. President Donald Trump started the trade war by imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum and most countries, including Canada, retaliated with tariffs on a long list of U.S. exports.

Trump responded with more tariffs, then China with more, and so on until negotiations finally began earlier this month.

Despite China’s orders for soybeans, market prices declined. Trade watchers say it will take Chinese orders of more than six million tonnes to lift prices.

Canada's hog farmers have been hit hard because North American hog prices fell after China imposed a 25 per cent tariff on U.S. pork