China’s soybean imports will be fewer this year than the previous year for the first time since 2004, reports Bloomberg, as the oilseed is caught up in the ongoing trade disputes with the US.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) forecast that China will buy 95 million metric tons of soybeans in 2018-19 – a 2.1% drop from the previous 12 months. Prior to the introduction of the latest tariffs from Beijing, the USDA has forecast exports to China at 103 million tons for the year.
Soybeans, a grain used primarily as animal feed, were included in Beijing’s list of retaliatory tariffs earlier this month after the Trump administration applied levies to $34 billion of Chinese manufactured goods.
The corresponding price increase may cause China to look to other soybean exporters to meet the nation’s requirements, such as Brazil. According to the USDA, American stockpiles of soybeans are expected to rise as shipments fall.