Could The Situation With China Get Worse Before It Gets Better?

02:42PM Jul 15, 2019
China trade
( MGN Image )

China is responding after President Trump accused China last week of not promptly buying more U.S. agriculture products.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said the agriculture trade issue should be addressed by the two sides together "on the basis of equality and mutual respect".

It's in response to President Trump's tweet where he said "They {China} have not been buying the agricultural products from our great farmers that they said they would. Hopefully, they will start soon".

There is some optimism coming out of China about the two sides reaching a possible trade deal.  A Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman said the trade talks kickstarted back up by the meeting between President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 late last month. He added, "we will definitely be able to find solutions to the problems".

White House Adviser Peter Navarro said on Friday in-person talks would start soon.  He said U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will travel to Beijing in the very near future.

AgDay's Clinton Griffiths talked with Dan Basse of AgResource.  Clinton asked him about the chances of the two sides reaching an agreement in the next, few months. Basse said, "The President of China and, of course, President Trump of the United States both have a will to get a package.  We think that will is deepening on the U.S. side as we get closer to the U.S. election.  I don't think the Trump Administration wants to carry this trade dispute into the 2020 election cycle." Click on the video link to hear more of Clinton's interview with Dan Basse.

New numbers are continuing to show the impact of the trade war between the two countries.  China's imports from the U.S. plunged 31.4% in June from a year earlier.  Exports to the U.S. sank 7.8%  That's according to customs data.  As an example, China imported 6.51 mmt of soybeans in June.  That's a 25.2% slide versus last year, and the lowest month since 2014.

The longer the trade war goes on, the more permanent this shift will be in the trade of U.S. agriculture products.  That's according to Cargill's Chief Financial Officer, David Dines.  He spoke recently with Bloomberg.  Cargill reported net income fell 67% from a year ago in the first three months of the year.  It is the steepest profit decline for the company in four years.  Dines telling Bloomberg, "We are concerned about our farmer customer.  It's been a challenging time for farmers here at home, both from a trade aspect, but obviously the weather aspect".

Related article: President Trump First Back at China for Not Buying U.S. Ag



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