China is buying U.S. soybeans at a record pace, but the total this year won’t beat previous record levels, and Chinese commitments under the “phase one” deal won’t be realized this year, U.S. Soybean Export Council CEO Jim Sutter said Monday.
Sutter, speaking at the Ag Outlook Forum said, “As far as the actual trade goes, I think it’s unlikely that China will import half of the two-year commitment of the ‘phase one’ deal in the first year.” China pledged to buy $80 billion worth of U.S. ag goods throughout 2020 and 2021.
Sutter predicted China would import 36 million metric tons of U.S. soybeans this calendar year – roughly the same amount as the country imported in 2016, according to USDA data.
Keep in mind: China would have to buy $4.5 billion a month in U.S. farm commodities to meet its “phase one” commitment, said John Newton, chief economist of the American Farm Bureau Federation. China imported just $7.7 billion from January through July.