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Corn, poultry 'on table' during China talks, says US Agriculture Secretary Perdue
[CHICAGO] China is expected to make its next round of American soya bean purchases "relatively quickly", while corn, ethanol, beef and poultry also have been part of trade discussions between the two countries, according to US Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.
China on Friday committed to buying an additional 10 million tonnes of US soya beans, a sign of progress on trade talks between the nations. Exports of US agricultural goods to China have fallen precipitously since the trade war and subsequent tariffs between the two countries ratcheted up over the last year.
"I expect that to be done expeditiously," Perdue said, referring to the additional purchases. "We are talking about old crop soya beans," he told reporters Saturday at the National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic in Schaumburg, Illinois.
US and Chinese officials discussed a variety of farm goods, Perdue said. Feed grains such as corn -- and ethanol and dried distiller grain solubles made from the crop -- as well as beef and poultry are "on the table" for trade talks, he said. He also said rice and sorghum were discussed, noting any sort of potential sales are dependent on a final US-China trade deal.
Donald Trump has said he'll extend a deadline to raise tariffs on Chinese goods beyond this week, citing "substantial progress" in the latest round of trade talks that wrapped up Sunday in Washington.
While China may be more open to buying US pork since many hog herds were culled after the spread of African swine fever over the past several months, the meat may not be a "major component" of discussions because the Asian country has endeavored to become more self-sufficient in the food staple, Perdue said.
China to Propose US$30 Billion More US Agriculture Purchases
The additional 10 million tons of soybean purchases by China may come before the spring, based on how quickly the country bought supplies to fulfill prior commitments it made since Trump met his counterpart Xi Jinping in December, Perdue said.
Perdue expects China's purchases of soybeans to be so-called old crop, meaning the supplies US farmers harvested in the fall. US inventories are expected to double this year amid rising yields and a drop in exports to China.
"Frankly the way the Chinese operate, I would not be surprised if they had not already begun to place some orders," Perdue said. "I am optimistic and hopeful that these 10 million metric tons will be done in the very near future," he said.
The buying is a "good-faith effort on China's behalf, particularly" given South America has begun its harvest already, Perdue said. He originally announced the purchases in a tweet on Friday, adding that they were "indications of more good news to come."