China Follows Through on its Promise to Buy U.S. Soybeans02/04/2019
China quickly followed through on Vice Premier Liu He’s pledge at the White House to buy more U.S. soybeans, market analysts said Friday.
China has already purchased between 2 and 2.5 million metric tons of soybeans out of the 5 million that Liu pledged on Thursday in the Oval Office, said Dan Basse, president of the Chicago-based AgResource Co.
He said half of that purchase would head to China through the Pacific Northwest ports and half through the Gulf Coast.
“The Chinese are keeping good on their promise that they were going to buy 5 million metric tons of soybeans … and we would expect that by sometime early next week they’ll get all 5 million metric tons done,” Basse told Agri-Pulse.
Daniel Pavilonis, a senior market strategist for RJO Futures, said he only knew of a million tons in initial purchases by the Chinese Friday, but stressed it could be more. He said it looks like China is moving quickly to follow through with the promise to buy another 5 million tons.
China has already purchased about 5 million tons this marketing year since President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping met in December and vowed to restart talks to try and end the trade war between the two countries. Before that presidential summit in Buenos Aires, China had virtually shunned all U.S. soybeans, relying instead much more heavily on supplies from Brazil.
China purchased about 36 million tons of U.S. soybeans in 2017 before the trade war erupted between the two countries and China hit virtually all U.S. agriculture commodities with tariffs, including a 25 percent import tax on soybeans.
Trump met with Liu Thursday in the White House after two days of U.S.-Chinese negotiations and it was there that he announced that China would buy 5 million more tons of soybeans. The announcement caused some initial confusion because Liu implied it would be much more, saying China would buy 5 million tons per day.
Two Trump administration officials confirmed for Agri-Pulse that China was pledging to only to make purchases of 5 million tons of soybeans in total.