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Spotlight Soybeans: Bunge CEO "China Deliberately Not Buying US Products"

In its trade dispute with the US, started by Trump, China is deliberately not buying US products.

Bunge Ltd. CEO Soren Schroder told Bloomberg on Wednesday China has essentially stopped buying U.S. supplies amid the brewing trade war. Bunge is the world’s biggest oilseed processor.

“They’re buying beans in Canada, in Brazil, mostly Brazil, but very deliberately not buying anything from the U.S.” It’s “very clear” that the trade tensions have already stopped China from buying U.S. supplies, Schroder said. “How long that will last, who knows? But so long as there is this big cloud of uncertainty, that’s likely to continue.”

Bunge has still been able to meet Chinese demand by filling shipments with supplies from outside the U.S., Schroder said. The White Plains, New York-based company has a large presence in South America.

Soybean Price

The futures symbol for soybeans is "ZS". A chart shows the price of soybeans peaked in summer of 2012 near $1790.

Since bottoming in September of 2014, the price has mostly flatlined between $900 and $1,050.

It appears that the lack of Chinese buying US soybeans has neither hurt nor helped US farmers. But the dispute not done a damn thing for the deficit either.

At best, China's soybean retaliation has made the US the deficit with China worse while improving it by the same degree elsewhere.

Trump Playing With Fire

President Trump is playing with fire. He has started a trade war on multiple front simultaneously: China, the EU, NAFTA (Canada and Mexico).

Nothing good can possibly come from this. For discussion, please see Germany Seethes and Juncker Warns Trump About Tariffs: Can Trump Win?

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

the farmers and local residents that are impacted by this mostly voted for trump so I have zero sympathy for them, didn't they understand what they were voting for?

Commodity prices are set globally, unless there's oversupply, someone will be buying. My sense is most Trump supporters back his moves on trade despite economic losses in the short-term.

The trade issue is now like a kinetic war. People support war even though it costs them. You can make a case for Iraq being a total loss and yet many people still say it was a good idea. The cost of a trade war is far less.

Trump uses the politics of “blame” and “hate”. If you can blame other countries, races, religions, previous governments etc. you can win support locally. Very sad. But I guess it works for him. Meanwhile, his trade team is off to China, looking to get some kind of “win”, after trying to bully China verbally through the media. I suspect that China is basically going to be polite in the media, yet respond in ways that hurt the US as shown in this article. Funny how the two governments are polar opposites. Trump screams, whines, and tries to bully everyone, then backs down. China talks politely, then actually acts in the background.

It doesn't matter where soybeans where in 2012 or 2014- they are 1 dollar higher today than last year's crop. That is all that matters. The Chinese will not let their people starve and need the soybean Meal (which the tariffs do not apply to) to feed their chickens. This has made the price of the soybean crush explode and benefits the Bunge in spades.

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