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China has increased many U.S. ag imports due to trade agreement

Alice Mannette
amannette@hutchnews.com
Kelby Adams harvests corn in Belpre.

The trade agreement between the U.S. and China is working, according to a USDA Oct. 23 report.

To date, China has implemented nearly 90% of its technical commitments and purchased more than $23 billion in agricultural products from American farmers and ranchers.

“For far too long, our farmers and ranchers were forced to deal with deceptive trade practices and unpredictable actions by the Chinese,” U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall said in a statement. “Agriculture is responsible for 60% of the Kansas economy, which is why free and fair market access is vital to ensuring that our producers remain profitable and our rural communities prosperous.”

Alfalfa, beef, grains and pork exports to China, according to this report, have increased dramatically since the new agreement. These include:

Alfalfa: U.S. alfalfa hay exports to China totaled $270 million from January through August 2020. This is up from $236 million during the same period in 2017.

Beef: 2020 exports of U.S. beef and beef products to China through August are up 118% compared to the same period in 2019. The exports are more than triple those of 2017. In addition, as of Oct. 8, total accumulated beef sales to China in 2020 were more than 25 times greater than those accumulated over the same period in 2017.

Corn: Sales of U.S. corn to China are at an all-time high of 8.7 million tons. As of Oct. 8, total accumulated corn sales for 2020 are more than 12 times greater than those accumulated by the same date in 2017.

Pet Food: U.S. pet food exports to China totaled over $20 million at the end of August, nearly doubling the previous annual record.

Pork: U.S. pork and pork product exports to China stand at more than $1.5 billion from January through August 2020. As of Oct. 8, total accumulated pork sales to China in 2020 are eight times greater than those accumulated by the same date in 2017.

Sorghum: U.S. exports of sorghum to China from January to August 2020 is up from the same period in 2017.

Soybeans: Soybean exports to China are averaging more than one million tons per week since the beginning of September.

Josh Roe, vice president of the Kansas Corn Growers Association, said this is good news for Kansas, as more grains are sold and prices of the commodity have increased.

“I would call this unprecedented,” Roe said. “In a normal year, Mexico is our largest buyer. China is poised to be No. 1 this year.”