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Proposed tariffs realigning soybean trade

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The proposed tariffs on United States soybeans, at the beginning of a trade war between China and the United States, are shifting trade habits.

President Donald Trump announced his intention last week to seek $100 billion of tariffs on additional Chinese products, which comes after China announced its intention of a 25% soybean tariff.

Data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Friday shows other nations are buying U.S. soybeans. A trade analyst says, “unknown destinations” for United States soybean buys from Friday likely are processors from European Union nations, including the Netherlands and Germany.

Jack Scoville, Price Futures Group analyst, told Reuters “we’re seeing a realignment of trade.” Scoville attributes the changes to politics driving Brazilian soybean prices.

The U.S. Soybean Export Council speculates Brazilian soybeans will likely go to China in the near-term, leaving U.S. soybeans available for others.  Meanwhile, Jim Bower, of Bower Trading, points out that trade may shift, but global demand should not decrease overall because the U.S. and South America are the only major soybean growing areas.