Soybean Transportation Coalition on China effects
The head of the U.S. Soybean Transportation Coalition says there are some signs of activity increasing in China as the coronavirus makes its way around the world. Mike Steenhoek tells Brownfield Ag News, “We do see, particularly in the northern part of the country, a lot of manufacturing activity picking up, being able to have greater mobility from region to other region, port activity resuming.”
While there have only been two shipments of U.S. beans to China recently, Steenhoek says it is not unexpected since U.S. sales are typical in the fall while Brazil, with a record crop coming on, dominates the international market in the spring.
“When you look at U.S. soybean exports and the fact that we’re not seeing a lot right now, it’s something that normally occurs this time of the year, that pretty sizeable pullback.”
And, the U.S. dollar is trading at an all-time high compared to the Brazilian Real. Steenhoek points out both China and the U.S. said after signing the phase one agreement that targets are contingent upon market conditions.
Steenhoek says it’s anyone’s guess how coronavirus will impact U.S. soybean sales to China in the fall but there’s hope, “It’s hard to really anticipate the rabbit hole, the proverbial rabbit hole extends on this outbreak.”
Steenhoek says soybean exports to China and other countries are ahead by three-to-four Million metric tons right now compared to this time last year.
He says containerized shipping has declined with containers “rapidly accumulating at U.S. ports” because of a decline in return journeys to China. Steenhoek says eight-percent of U.S. grain exports occur via container “so this disruption has certainly impacted those companies in particular.”