The trade war between the U.S. and China has made Argentina the top buyer of U.S. soybeans. Department of Agriculture data shows that 1.3 million metric tons of U.S. soybeans have been inspected for export to Argentina from September 1 through November 22. That compares with none in the same year-ago period.
China, previously the top buyer of U.S. soy, is seeking purchases elsewhere amid the tit-for-tat trade war with the United States. Bloomberg News reports that normally Argentina processes its own soybeans to export meal and oil. But with China on the hunt for non-American soy, Argentina is shipping out more raw beans and buying more from the U.S. to feed its crushers, especially after a drought earlier this year curbed output. At the start of the trade war, China placed a 25 percent tariff on U.S. soybeans, seeking to inflict the most pain possible on the U.S. by targeting agriculture.