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Wheat groups encouraged by China trade announcement

U.S. Wheat Associates and the National Association of Wheat Growers say they’re encouraged by news of a trade agreement with China. Steven Mercer with U.S. Wheat says, “We don’t have a lot of details about what’s in it yet but we’re anxious to see what those are.”

Mercer tells Brownfield China had been increasing the amount of U.S. wheat imports up until March of 2018 when retaliatory tariffs began.  He’s also expecting more wheat shipments based on the outcome of a World Trade Organization ruling. “China is actually supposed to be importing under the WTO agreement 9.6 million metric tons of wheat, and they’ve never filled that, but in this case, they indicate that they want to fill it.”

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced details of the phase-one agreement Friday, and China’s Vice Agriculture Minister confirmed they will be importing more U.S. wheat and corn after the deal is signed.  Mercer tells Brownfield there’s a reason for China to begin importing U.S. wheat soon. “We think it would help push U.S. prices up so that’s only going to make that imported wheat more expensive, so it would be better for China to import it sooner rather than later.”

U.S. Wheat says China had imported as much as 1.65 million metric tons of U.S. wheat in marketing year 2016/17 and an additional 866,000 metric tons in 2017/18 before retaliatory tariffs began in March 2018.

U.W. Wheat’s Steven Mercer discusses the phase-one China trade deal with Brownfield’s Larry Lee

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