China To Suspend Tariff Hikes On Pork And Soybeans

Beijing says it supports domestic companies purchasing a certain amount of U.S. farm produce. ( Stock Photo )

Some good news on Friday for U.S. pork and soybean producers: China will suspend punitive tariff hikes on those and some other farm goods, according to an Associated Press (AP) story that referenced the country's Xinhhua News Agency.

The Agency, citing the Cabinet planning agency and the Commerce Ministry, said that Beijing "supports domestic companies in purchasing a certain amount of U.S. farm produce.”

"China has a huge market, and the prospects for importing high-quality U.S. farm produce are broad," Xinhua said. "China hopes the United States will be true to its word, make progress on its commitments and create favorable conditions for bilateral agricultural cooperation."

The decision by China comes after President Trump decided to not impose additional tariffs on Chinese goods that had been scheduled for Oct. 1, moving the date to Oct. 15.

Additional details on the tariff suspension and timing are not yet available.

The commodity markets took off on Thursday after Reuters reported Chinese importers bought at least 10 cargoes of U.S. soybeans.  It equals about 600,000 mt of soybeans.

Brian Splitt of talked with AgDay's Clinton Griffiths about the rumor. Splitt said, "There's a rumor today that there's business being done out of the PNW.  I've heard as little as five cargoes of soybeans and I've heard as much as 5 million tons.  It's probably somewhere in the middle.  I think 5 million tons is quite a bit."

China did show up in the USDA Weekly Export Sales report as well.  It purchased about half of the week's total of U.S. pork sales.  Of the net sales of 21,900 mt, China purchased 10,900 mt. Splitt said, "They've been drawing down their domestic stocks of pork in storage and so they may be at the point where they need to start actually procuring U.S. pork, so hog futures opened limit up today."