Fraser Hammond - China Grain Imports Fall in December

Fraser Hammond - Major grain exporters lose out on Chinese purchases as trade tariffs affect demand.

According to official customs data, China’s imports of grain declined by more than expected in December as trade tariffs affect purchaser’s appetite for key products including sorghum and barley.

China is traditionally the biggest purchaser of sorghum worldwide but in December last year, the world’s second largest economy purchased none of the feed grain. In December of 2017, the country imported 160,000 tons of sorghum, 94 percent of which came from the United States which is the world’s biggest producer of the crop.

Fraser Hammond analysts say imports of barley also declined significantly in December last year, by 75.4 percent.

In retaliation to punitive trade tariffs imposed by US President Donald Trump during the course of last year, China slapped tariffs of 25% on grains imported from the US causing China’s usual 7.3 million tonnes of grain imports to decrease by 40.9 percent in December.

In an effort to make progress in trade talks with the United States, China promised to purchase significant amounts of agriculture products and various services from the US as a measure to start narrowing the trade deficit between the two countries.

But analysts at Fraser Hammond say China has not offered any details or clarity on how it would fulfill this promise.

In December last year, the US and China agreed to press pause on the trade war and any further escalation of tariffs for 90 days to allow the two countries to negotiate a trade agreement and put an end to their dispute but with the March 1st deadline rapidly approaching, Fraser Hammond analysts say the chances of reaching a consensus seem slim at this point.

Source: Fraser Hammond


Categories: Agriculture and Horticulture

Tags: Fraser Hammond, FraserHammond, sorghum imports

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