As many have discussed, due to their volume requirements China cannot secure their supply chain for soybeans without purchasing U.S. soybean crops. China can purchase soybeans from Brazil and Argentina; however, that only leads to Argentina increasing it’s soybean purchases from the U.S. Amplifying this issue are current lower yields from South America in their soybean crops.
…“There is a risk that China will have to cut back its livestock production, implying higher prices on the domestic market.”…
(Reuters) – China may have to start buying U.S. soybeans again in coming weeks despite the trade war between the two countries as other regions cannot supply enough soybeans to meet China’s needs, Hamburg-based oilseeds analysts Oil World said on Tuesday.
In July, China imposed import tariffs on a list of U.S. goods, including soybeans, as part of the trade dispute with the United States. China is the world’s largest soybean importer and has been seeking alternative supplies, especially in South America, where supplies available for export are down.
“China has to resume purchases of U.S. soybeans,” Oil World said in its latest newsletter. “The South American supply shortage will make it necessary for China, in our opinion, to import 15 million tonnes of U.S. soybeans in October 2018/March 2019, even if the current trade war is not resolved.”
Chinese purchases of U.S. soybeans could re-start “in coming weeks,” Oil World added.
Soybeans, crushed to make cooking oil and the protein-rich animal feed ingredient soymeal, were the biggest U.S. agriculture export to China last year at a value of $12.3 billion, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. (read more)
♦The 800lb Panda in the room is that China is arguably the least balanced economy in the modern world. Hence, China has to take extraordinary measures to secure their supply chain. This economic dependency is also why China has recently spent so much on military expansion etc., they must protect their vulnerable interests.
Everything important to the Chinese Economy surrounds their critical need to secure a strong global supply chain of raw material to import, and leveraged trade agreements for export. China’s economy is deep (manufacturing), but China’s economy is also narrow.
This is why China has now positioned their economic system as dependent on them being an economic bully. They must retain their supply chain: import raw materials – export finished goods, at all costs.
This inherent economic structure is a weakness China must continually address through policies toward other nations. Hence, “One-Belt / One-Road” is essentially their ‘bully plan’ to ensure their supply chain and long-term economic viability.
This economic structure, and the reality of China as a dependent economic model, also puts China at risk from the effects of global economic contraction. But more importantly it puts them at risk from President Trump’s strategic use of geopolitical economic leverage to weaken their economy.
When you plant your trees in another man’s orchard, don’t be surprised when you end up paying for your own apples!