China has committed to buying 10M tonnes of US soyabeans, according to a 22 February tweet by US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.
According to a World Grain report, the tweet stated, “In Oval Office meeting today, the Chinese committed to buy an additional 10 million metric tonnes of US soybeans. Hats off to @POTUS for bringing China to the table. Strategy is working. Show of good faith by the Chinese. Also indications of more good news to come.”
Together with the 5M tonnes of soyabeans US President Donald Trump said in early February that China was buying, the new commitment would mean a total of 15M tonnes of US soyabeans that China would purchase since the two countries declared a 90-day ceasefire in their trade war on 1 December.
In July 2018, Trump announced tariffs on various Chinese products and China responded with retaliatory 25% tariffs on US products, including soybeans. The USA then imposed 10% tariffs on US$200bn worth of Chinese imports on 24 September, which prompted China to impose 25% duties on a wide range of US food products including several edible oils.
On 1 December, the two countries reached a temporary truce, agreeing not to impose additional tariffs on each other’s goods that were due to take effect on 1 January.
However, if they fail to reach a deal before 1 March, the USA has threatened to raise tariffs on the US$200bn worth of Chinese goods from 10% to 25%.
Before the trade war, China was the top buyer of US soyabeans.