The U.S., China trade war escalated this week as news articles reported that China has halted its purchases of U.S. agricultural products.


On Thursday, President Trump announced additional tariffs on Chinese imports.

And on Friday, Bloomberg writer Ryan Haar reported that, “White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow played down the impact on U.S. consumers of additional tariffs on Chinese imports and suggested Beijing could strengthen the case for avoiding them being applied next month if they bought U.S. agricultural products.

China Halts Purchases of U.S. Farm Products

However, Reuters writer Koh Gui Qing reported this week that,

China has halted its purchases of U.S. agricultural products and will not rule out levying import tariffs on American farm imports purchased after Aug. 3, the Chinese Commerce Ministry said early on Tuesday.

“The moves by China represent the latest escalation in its trade row with the United States that has unnerved global markets and investors.

“‘Related Chinese companies have suspended purchases of U.S. agricultural products,’ China’s Ministry of Commerce said in an online statement posted shortly after midnight in Beijing on Tuesday.”

U.S. agricultural exports, year-to-date and current months- Volumes. USDA- Economic Research Service (August 5, 2019,

The FT article explained that, “Before the trade war began, China was the largest importer of US soyabeans, buying 25m-30m tonnes a year. However shipments have plummeted: since the start of the crop year in September it has agreed to buy only 14m tonnes, of which 10m has been shipped, according to official US data. The US delivered just 5.3m tonnes of soyabeans to China in the first five months of this year, against 15.2m tonnes in the first five months of 2018.

“The Chinese ministry of commerce said last week that since July 19, some Chinese companies — including state-owned enterprises — were in the process of making ‘new purchases’ of US soyabeans, cotton, pork and sorghum, and that some deals had already been reached.

“Zippy Duvall, president of the the American Farm Bureau Federation, the nation’s largest and most influential general farm organization, called China’s import cut-off ‘a body blow to thousands of farmers and ranchers who are already struggling to get by.’”

The Bloomberg article added that, “The administration tried to blunt the trade war’s financial toll on farmers with $12 billion in trade aid last year and another $16 billion in trade assistance this year.”

Source: Keith Good, Farm Policy News