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China Suspends U.S. Soybean Purchases
USAgNet - 06/04/2019

News that China is holding off on making new purchases of U.S. soybeans is just the latest bad news for Midwestern grain farmers. In addition to the ongoing trade dispute, China is dealing with a deadly swine fever outbreak that's wiping out its hogs and further depressing the need for soybeans used in livestock feed.

According to the Omaha World-Herald, wet weather in the Midwest is prompting more farmers to plant soybeans instead of corn, which could ultimately translate into bigger soybean surpluses and even lower prices.

"You kind of have a perfect storm when it comes to soybean producers," said Jordan Dux, Nebraska Farm Bureau's director of national affairs.

Bloomberg News reported Thursday that China has put a hold on new soybean purchases, although it's not canceling previous purchases.

That story didn't exactly shock American farmers.

After all, U.S. soybean shipments to China typically taper off this time of year anyway.

And the amount of soybeans China has been buying was already far below normal.

When President Donald Trump addressed the China issue on Thursday, he touted the tariffs being collected. But the hit to taxpayers can be seen in various ways, including a fresh round of farm aid that the administration is preparing. At $16 billion, this year's program is expected to surpass last year's payments to farmers to help offset the trade hit.

Dux said that farmers would rather have the trade but that such aid payments are appreciated.

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