March 8, US President Donald Trump signed a 25 percent duty on steel and 10 percent on aluminum to protect national interests. In response, China made up a list of 128 products imported from the United States, on which it is planned to introduce duties in 15%. The list includes fruits, dried fruit, nuts, wine, ginseng, seamless steel tubes and others.
The world community was wondering if the soybean will be included in this list. Having assessed the negative effects of measures taken, the country has decided not to include soybean in the list of goods that will be imported with 15% duty. However, the Chinese side doesn’t exclude such an opportunity in the long run. Will China be able to do without American soybean?
Olga Kharabara, analyst of agricultural markets of the Association «Ukrainian Agribusiness Club» notes that China is import-dependent country because its own soybean production was 12,9 million tons in 2016/2017 while the level of soybean consumption was 106,35 mln tons. So taking into account the volumes of American soybean exports to China such statements are rather bluff than reality.
«It isn’t possible to provide domestic demand for soybeans through purchases in other countries, since Brazil and the USA are the largest soybean sellers in the world, which together cover 83% of world demand. In case of the introduction of 15% duty, Chinese importers of soybeans will have to overpay, which will lead to losses, both for the industry and for the country. For Ukraine, the introduction of 15% import duty by China would have a positive effect - it would be quite possible to expect an increase in demand for Ukrainian soybean from the side of the Celestial Empire. Another question would be the cost of soybean on the world market due to significant volumes of American soybean» - comments Olga Kharabara.