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China's U.S. Soybean Purchases Slump to 15 Year Low
USAgNet - 07/30/2019

U.S. soybean exports to China, the world's biggest market, slumped in the first half to the lowest level in more than a decade while pork sales in June slipped from a month earlier as little progress was made on ending a trade war between the two countries.

Bloomberg News reports that China imported 614,806 tons of soybeans from the U.S. in June, according to customs data. That brought first half imports to 5.9 million tons, the lowest half-year level since at least 2004, according to Bloomberg calculations. U.S. pork imports dropped 16% in June from May, customs data showed.

U.S. farmers, who harvest soybeans from September to November every year, have been among the biggest victims in the trade war as Chinese buyers shift to other markets for agricultural products amid retaliatory tariffs.

Senior U.S. officials will meet in China on Monday for the first high-level, face-to-face negotiations since talks broke down in May. Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping agreed to a truce in late June, and the Chinese government last week is said to have approved five companies to buy some U.S. soybeans free of retaliatory import tariffs as a goodwill gesture.

China's soybean purchases from Brazil, where the harvest season lasts from February through May, totaled 5.5 million tons in June, customs data showed. That compares with 7.8 million tons bought in the same period last year.

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