ND Soybean growers nervous about potential Chinese tariffs

Apr 3, 2018

So far, China has not taken any formal action to impose tariffs on soybeans.

China has taken some retaliatory action against US goods and commodities – after the Trump Administration announced it was imposing tariffs on some Chinese products.

What happens if China impose tariffs or embargoes on US soybeans?

"We are looking at $1.5 billion less of exports for the state of North Dakota," said North Dakota Soybean Growers Association executive director Nancy Johnson.

"It certainly could affect market share," said Barnes County soybean grower Monte Peterson. "It could affect market price."

Johnson said the soybean industry has been working for 35 years to develop the Chinese market.

"They (the Chinese) use the product completely," Johnson said. "They're interested in both the meal to feed animals and birds, and the oil for human consumption. And they have a huge population."

Johnson said no other market is as big as China.

Johnson said a couple of orders were canceled by the Chinese before the tariffs were imposed. She said no reasons have been given -- but it makes growers nervous.

"This is a big 'wait and see' issue," Johnson said.

Peterson said he can see another, more positive side to this trade issue.

"The President has called for a reduction of our trade deficit with China," Peterson said. "US soybean farmers certainly could export more soybeans than they currently are, and that would be a help to the trade deficit."