Iowa soybean growers remain optimistic about the Chinese market despite a pending trade war.
Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) officials last week travelled to China. The delegation worked to maintain strong agricultural relations by speaking to soy customers about planting expectations and quality assurance. ISA president Bill Shipley says he is grateful for the Chinese market and the opportunities it provides.
“This is my third time here in the last year, and the growth in China still continues to amaze me,” Shipley said. “Also that they want to meet and talk to farmers about what we do and how we do it. I also see more growth opportunities for selling soybeans here as it continues to grow its pork, poultry and aquaculture industry.”
China imported 93.5 million metric tonnes, or 61% of United States soybean exports last year. Grant Kimberley, ISA director of market development, anticipates further growth. He says, “China is a very large market and shows no signs of stopping.”
“We expect to see soybean imports to China to grow to 97 million metric tonnes by the end of the current marketing year,” Kimberley said. “We expect them to grow even further, the next marketing year, up to 100 million metric tonnes. One-hundred million metric tonnes worth of imports is nearly 3.7 billion bushels of soybeans the Chinese market will be importing. Iowa produces over 550 million bushels of soybeans.”