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Soybean Rebounds After Decline on Trump’s Tariff Hike on China

May 7, 2019 at 15:50 by Andrew Moran

Soybean futures are slightly rebounding on Tuesday from their eight-month lows as they try to snap an eight-session skid. Soybean prices fell on Monday after President Donald Trump announced he was raising tariffs on Chinese goods, leading analysts to conclude that Beijing would retaliate. Despite the two sides reportedly nearing a new trade agreement, the measure may throw a wrench into the exhaustive negotiations.

July soybean futures rose $0.025, or 0.3%, to $8.3275 per bushel at 15:21 GMT on Tuesday on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBoT). Last week, soybean recorded a 2% weekly decline as it has recorded eight consecutive session losses. The agricultural commodity has had a rough first half of 2019, sliding nearly 10% so far this year.

Soybean prices have been impacted by a wide array of issues, ranging from supply and demand to geopolitical tensions. With so much uncertainty surrounding the market, a growing number of American and Canadian farmers are leaving the soybean industry and concentrating on other agricultural products.

Over the weekend, President Trump tweeted that he would be raising tariffs from 10% to 25% on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, adding that another $325 billion in goods would face tariffs “shortly.” China has yet to directly respond to the announcement – a delegation of negotiators is in Washington this week to iron out the final touches of a trade deal. But many experts agree that the world’s second-largest economy would retaliate, primarily by homing in on US agriculture, including soybean.

China is the biggest buyer of US soybean, even as the country faces a significant African flu outbreak. This disease has caused farms to slaughter their pigs in vast numbers and switch their feed from soy to another product. Although China promised to import more soybean from the US as part of the 90-day trade truce, there were concerns that Beijing would be unable to keep up with this pledge from a demand standpoint due to the outbreak.

That said, the American Soybean Association (ASA) and the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) are calling on President Trump, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and other administration officials for a resolution to this trade spat.

Gina Tumbarello, director of international policy and trade at AFIA, said in a statement:

We urge the administration to wind this up. We strongly urge the Trump administration to seek alternative means for reaching an amicable negotiation with China — one that does not further diminish the US animal food industry’s role in this crucial marketplace or result in increased costs for American farmers, ranchers and pet owners.

In other commodity markets, July corn futures added $0.01, or 0.27%, to $3.6525 per pound. July wheat futures tacked on $0.025, or 0.57%, to $4.3975 a bushel. July orange juice futures tumbled $0.003, or 0.33%, to 91.35 cents per pound.

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