In the News: Soybeans and Pork and China Trade
Trade is important to American farmers and America.
Soybeans are made into soybean meal (80%) to feed to animals or make into soybean oil and biodiesel (20%) for cooking and fuel. China imports their soybeans from the United States, Brazil, and Argentina. The United States is the world’s largest soybean producer and the largest exporter just ahead of Brazil and Argentina. Over the years, U.S. farmers have shipped massive quantities of soybeans to China, Japan, Mexico, Taiwan, even the European Union. As the world eats more protein, more soybeans are expected as well.
The U.S. could become less competitive.
Many factors affect the price of soybeans. Break even for farmers varies but is generally from $8.50/bushel – $9.00/bushel.
The Bottom Line:
In the short term, trade disruptions hinder the price of an agricultural commodity. This puts strain on America’s farmers, who are already contending with variable crop disruptions. That is exactly the point of China’s strategy. However, having 1.4 billion mouths to feed, China needs to have a reliable supply of food to keep food insecurity at bay.
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Ishmael, Wes. “China Imposes Additional Tariffs on U.S. Pork Imports; Adds Beef as a Potential Target.” Beef Magazine, Beef Magazine, 5 Apr. 2018, www.beefmagazine.com/exports/china-imposes-additional-tariffs-us-pork-imports-adds-beef-potential-target.
Meade, Birgit, et al. “Corn and Soybean Production Costs and Export Competitiveness in Argentina, Brazil, and the United States.” USDA.org, United States Department of Agriculture, June 2016.
Tonsor, Glynn. “Concentration of U.S. Red Meat Exports.” Concentration of U.S. Red Meat Exports | AgManager.info, Kansas State University, 26 Mar. 2018, www.agmanager.info/livestock-meat/marketing-extension-bulletins/trade-and-demand/concentration-us-red-meat-exports.
“U.S. Soybean Export Council: Market Snapshots.” U.S. Soy for a Growing World, U.S. Soybean Export Council, Feb. 2018.
“U.S. GOVERNMENT POLICY: China” Global Agricultural Information Network, USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, 4 Apr. 2018.