In the wake of the growing trade dispute with the United States, China has tripled its importation of soybeans from Russia. The United States is currently the largest producer of soybeans in the world, and was a major supplier of soybeans to China in the past. In a report released by the Rosselkhoznadzor, Russia’s agricultural agency, from last July to mid-May, Russia has exported approximately 850,000 metric tons of soybeans to China. This is a marked increase from the 340,000 metric tons of soybeans Russia sold to China in the previous growing season.
Despite the dramatic uptick in Russian soybean exports to the country, economists with the U.S. government estimate that Russian soybeans will account for less than one percent of the 97 million tons of soybeans that China will import this season. Experts also believe that the increase in exports to China will do little to help the Russian soybean industry. Daniil Khotko, an analyst at Moscow’s Agricultural Market Studies, said the agency expects the country’s soybean industry to grow by no more than 20 percent in the next two to three years.
In addition to looking to Russia for soybeans, China has also canceled numerous U.S. shipments due to fears of the impending trade war and have increased scrutiny of American fresh fruit in their ports. Concerns of a trade war come in the wake of President Donald Trump’s proposal to set $150 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods. The Chinese government responded by proposing billions of dollars in tariffs on American goods.