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Farmers less optimistic about trade with China

Farmers are less optimistic the U.S.-China trade dispute will be resolved in a way that benefits U.S. agriculture, according to the latest Purdue University/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer

Jim Mintert is director of the Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture.

“In a little over a year we’ve gone from 80 percent of the producers in our survey saying they think the trade dispute with China is going to be resolved in a way that is actually good for U.S. agriculture,” he says. “That’s gone all the way down to 31 percent.”

He tells Brownfield the drop in producer sentiment is surprising.

 “It continues to be somewhat surprising with the strength we’ve seen in commodity prices and strong exports to China,” he says. “There’s just a lot of uncertainty I think on the part of producers with respect to what’s going to take place and a lot less confidence that ultimately this is going to be resolved in a way that’s good.”

Farmers are also concerned about China fulfilling Phase One trade agreement commitments. In March, 35 percent of producers said they expect China to fulfill the agreement.

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