Chinese Companies Buying Ag Products Despite Government Order to Desist

Despite a Chinese government mandate to stop buying U.S. agricultural products, state-owned companies still purchased 180,000 metric tons of U.S. soybeans on Monday with shipments due in the fall.

Politico says Chinese importers still haven’t covered a large share of their October and November soybean needs. China was supposed to buy at least $36.5 billion in U.S. ag products this year under the phase one trade agreement.

“Phase One always was on weak legs and now we’re seeing that,” says Scott Kennedy, senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “If President Trump walks away from the deal, that will make it harder for American farmers and others in the Midwest to count on exports to fuel their recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.” Kennedy also says the apparent ag import freeze could be linked to Trump’s threats to remove Hong Kong’s privileged trade status.