A lot of soy, a little rice- China’s historical U.S. agricultural purchases
The United States and China are due to sign a Phase 1 trade deal on Jan. 15 that U.S. officials have said will include a vow by China to buy an additional $32 billion in U.S. farm goods over the next two years.
China has not confirmed Trump’s goal of $40 billion to $50 billion of annual sales, which represents a near doubling of its purchases before the trade war began in 2018. Recent large Chinese purchases of Brazilian soybeans and a pair of unexpected policy moves by Beijing have dimmed U.S. hopes of reaching the lofty imports figure.
Soybeans made up more than half of China’s agriculture purchases from the United States in 2017, at about $12.2 billion.
Below are agricultural goods China has bought from the United States in the past:
SOYBEANS China bought about 60% of all exports of U.S. soybeans, the main U.S. export crop by value, before the trade war. Since the current marketing year started on Sept. 1, China has purchased about 11.1 million tonnes of soybeans worth some $4 billion, according to government data.
SORGHUM China began buying U.S. sorghum, which it uses for production of baiju liquor and animal feed, in 2008. Its purchases peaked at $2.115 billion in 2015, but fell by more than half to $1.030 billion in 2016. From January to November 2019, it bought $139.094 million worth.
PORK China has increased pork imports to record levels after a fatal pig disease, African swine fever, devastated its herd. U.S. pork exports to China and Hong Kong were up 49% in value at $1.18 billion from January to November 2019. The shipments were above full-year 2018 exports of $852.5 million and topped a prior full-year record of $1.08 billion in 2017.
BEEF China officially resumed U.S. beef imports in 2017 after a 14-year ban but maintains restrictions on shipments. Exports of U.S. beef to China and Hong Kong from January to November 2019 were down 19% from a year earlier at $746.4 million. China and Hong Kong imported a record $1 billion in U.S. beef in 2018.
CORN China was a top-five buyer of U.S. corn from 2011 to 2013 but has not been a major buyer since as domestic production increased. In 2017, it bought $142.036 million worth, and from January to November 2019 it bought $52.857 million.
RICE China, the world’s largest rice producer, typically buys small amounts of U.S. rice. Purchases peaked at $5.311 million in 2010. In 2017, they totalled $759,000 from January to November 2019, U.S. rice exports to China have been worth just $165,000.
POULTRY China in November lifted a nearly five-year ban on U.S. poultry that had been imposed in January 2015 because of a U.S. outbreak of avian flu. The market bought $500 million worth of American poultry products in 2013.
WHEAT China is the world’s No. 2 wheat producer after the European Union and holds roughly half of all global wheat inventories. In recent years it has been the No. 3 or 4 buyer of U.S. hard red spring wheat, a high-protein variety used to blend and improve the quality of lesser grades of wheat.
EQUIPMENT Some analysts had speculated that equipment might be counted in an agriculture component of an eventual trade deal. Farm machinery exports last year through October were a little over $200 million, according to data from U.S. Census Bureau. Beijing’s biggest purchase in the past two decades was in 2015 when it imported about $430 million of machines.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Tom Polansek, Julie Ingwersen, Rajesh Kumar; Singh, Mark Weinraub and Karl Plume; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)