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China’s Soybean Import Hit By Swine Fever, Raises Concern On Trade Promise

As China and the U.S. persist to confer a trade agreement aimed at pleasing both sides, soybeans are rising as a good dealing chip for Beijing to employ the influence in those talks. But whilst Beijing has vowed to purchase more American soybeans, experts question if China—which is the largest consumer of the oilseed globally—has the desire for it. In addition to taxes enforced due to the ongoing trade dispute, declining import numbers and an epidemic of African swine fever in China have increased apprehensions that the second largest economy globally might not be capable to meet to its assurances to purchase more.

According to Sonny Perdue—the U.S. Agriculture Secretary—China has pledged to buy a supplementary 10 million metric tons of the U.S. soybeans. Reportedly, China has also offered to buy over $30 Billion in American agricultural produce in this year as a part of the trade deal. Nonetheless, customs data illustrated that imports of soybean have been collapsing in recent months. In the last year, China’s imports of soybean from the U.S. strike its lowest level in a decade. The customs data stated that soybean imports for the month February collapsed to their lowest level in 4 Years—or 17% lower than a year ago—in part owing to heavy taxes on American soybeans.

Speaking of the ongoing trade war amid the U.S.-China, recently, the U.S. trade executive stated that deal or no deal, the U.S.-China trade discussions might end in weeks. The U.S. and China might be in the final weeks of talks to sort out an agreement to alleviate their tit-for-tat tariffs disagreement, Robert Lighthizer—the U.S. Trade Representative—said. Beijing and Washington have enforced import tariffs on each other’s goods that have cost the two largest economies billions of dollars, disrupted manufacturing, roiled markets and supply chains.