China’s appetite for imports is boosting prospects in the US agricultural sector

Donald Trump’s trade war with China has forced American farmers to depend on government materials to survive. But China is now at the heart of a farmer’s fortune, as rising exports and rising food prices are boosting the US agricultural economy.

The United States plans to send a record $ 37.2 billion in agricultural products to China this year through sales of soy, corn, walnuts, beef, wheat and poultry. prediction, The figure is 23% of total US agricultural exports, valued at $ 164 billion.

Rising demand from China, as well as corn and soybean supply restrictions caused by drought in Brazil, have driven global growth. food pricesProviding further incentives for American farmers.

“Things have really turned around,” said Mark Wilson, a corn grower in Toulon, Illinois. “She looks very beautiful now.”

American farmers received unprecedented government subsidies after China in 2018. Trump changed tariffs on punitive payments for US agricultural products. Desperate in early 2020, when Beijing promised to make major agricultural purchases as part of a trade deal with the United States, it quickly disappeared as the epidemic spread, prompting Washington to provide more aid.

State fees In 2020, the net income of US farms reached its highest level since 2013 due to adjusted inflation. USDA economists predict that revenue will fall by 8%, as many of these payments will disappear in 2021. But at $ 111.4 billion, the total will still be 21 percent higher than the median annual income from 2000 to 2019.

Soybeans, crushed to make pork and vegetable oil, have historically been the largest US agricultural export to China. But China has entered the market for that too US corn According to government data, 23.2 million tons were either shipped or fixed for the marketing year ending in August, compared to a shortfall of 200,000 tons five years ago.

Corn և soybean prices were nearing all-time highs this spring when a severe drought in the summer of 2012 devastated US production. Although the growing season is early, this year forecasters are predicting healthy crops, which will allow farmers to take advantage of soybeans, which sell for more than $ 15 per dollar, and corn for more than $ 6 per ounce.

“The manuals were just Band-Aid to reach us, we always hoped to see this kind of demand, this kind of price,” said Dave Walton, a soybean corn farmer from Iowa. “We have the right conditions, we just put the crop on the ground, it looks great now. So there is a lot to be thankful for. ”

A chart of $ Bn columns showing the sale of crops և livestock mainly offsets the decline in farm subsidies

The big sale of US farmland to China comes as tensions escalate in Washington’s “Beijing”. The Biden administration in recent days announced dozens Chinese companies restrict US investors over national security concerns, while most of Trump’s tariffs on Chinese goods to persist,

Will the sale continue? “” The $ 64,000 question that everyone wants to know the answer to, “said Scott Irwin, an agricultural economist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He added. “I see no reason for China’s purchases to change significantly, at least globally.”

Beijing has promised to introduce the clock at least $ 80 billion During the two years of US agricultural products with the White House, its trade in 2020. As of April, China was lagging behind in its commitment to 2021 in 2021, but “it was achieving that” fast“According to the lobbying group of the American Farmers Federation.

Former United States Department of Agriculture Chief Economist Joseph Oze Glauber did not want to lend to the initial trade deal for growing sales. He pointed to the partial recovery of the country from the African swine fever, which wrecked the country’s swine herd as a result of the demand for fodder grain.

“I do not think this is a temporary phenomenon,” Glauber said. “I think China will continue to be a very strong importer.”

The trade war that started in 2018 disgusted some parts of the agricultural industry piracy on Chinese purchases. John So-and-so, an adviser to the US Soybean Export Council, said demand diversification was “the main goal.” The industry spends on marketing in Southeast Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East.

“We are very dependent on China now,” Base said. “But did you know that China is highly dependent on the rest of the world for its soybeans?”

The American Federation of Farm Bureau said it would not press Washington for more subsidies. “We do not ask for money or alleviate suffering when things are better,” said Veronica Nigg, the federation’s economist. But he added that if China’s exports “go south”, farmers may need help once again.

In Iowa, Walton is cautiously optimistic. “It simply came to our notice then. It will not be a big wind or a diamond, but it will be comfortable for a while. ”

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