China orders farmers to grow more soybeans
Soybeans make up around two thirds of America’s agricultural exports to China and Donald Trump welcomed the promise from Beijing – as part of the deal to avert a trade war – as “one of the best things to happen to our farmers in many years”.
The U.S. president also tweeted that China “will purchase from our Great American Farmers practically as much as our Farmers can produce”.
Although the immediate threat of a trade war has receded, planners are still keen to diversify the country’s supplies of soybeans to reduce their reliance on one or two importers.
China, the world’s largest soybean importer, relied on imports for 87 per cent of domestic consumption last year and steady supplies are vital for the country’s huge pork industry.
It is now stepping up its efforts to grow more soybeans, although there is a long way to go before China can meaningfully cut its reliance on imports. ■