China Imposes Soybean Tariff, Potentially Hurting Minnesota Farmers Long Term
MINNESOTA- Friday morning, China announced it will install a 25 percent tariff on U.S. soybeans in response to President Trump's decision to impose tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese products, potentially sparking a trade war.
Since the Chinese levies were proposed in the spring, soybean prices have dropped to lows not seen in the last decade.
Yet, Friday's announcement has actually increased the cost of soybeans, rising roughly 20 cents and prices are expected to rebound to break even within the next few days.
However, the concern for local farmers is adjusting to what may lie ahead.
CEO of Minnesota Soybean Tom Slunecka says "It's really the mid and long term that we're most concerned about. Will the world find different sources for that protein? Will other countries, like those in South America, continue to tear down more rainforests in order to plant more soybeans? Those are the long term things we are concerned about as farmers. As farmers, we don't plant a crop just for the year. This is a generational business and so we look very long term in these markets."
China is not only the world's largest buyer of soybeans, purchasing 61 percent of all soybean exports, but is Minnesota's biggest importer of beans, from which the state generates two billion dollars annually.
Minnesota Soybean Growers Association president Michael Petefish adds "This news obviously won't help matters and is extremely unwelcoming. History shows us that no one comes out a winner in a trade war."
- KEYC NEWS 12