One of the first U.S. soybean-carrying ships to arrive in China since the escalation of trade tensions between the two countries has unloaded 70,000 tons of the oilseed.
The ship is believed to be one of the first carrying U.S. soybeans subject to hefty new tariffs. The ship, along with two others, was anchored off the coast of China for several weeks as the trade dispute continued. The cargo on the ship was worth at least $23 million and is subject to about $6 million in import tariffs which, according to reports, will be paid by China’s state grains stockpiler Sinograin.
In April, China imposed a 179 percent tariff on U.S. sorghum imports and, in May, reports said China had stopped buying U.S. soybeans. In June, the U.S. said it would impose a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion worth of Chinese exports, and China retaliated with tariffs on U.S. products, including soybeans, corn and wheat.
Brazil increases soybean acres
As a result of shifting demand, Brazil reportedly is planting more acres with soybeans and fewer acres with sugar cane. One report said Brazil's soybean acreage has increased by 2 million hectares in two years. China paid $20.3 billion last year for 53.8 million tons of Brazil’s soybeans, up from 22.8 tons in 2012.
Brazil’s increase in soy production sees it rivaling the U.S. for the world’s top soy producer.