China resumes purchasing U.S. soybeans despite the trade war

The USDA says China is again buying soybeans despite the trade war.

The one million plus metric tons of soybeans China is scheduled to purchase are only a drop in the bucket for local farmers who how been impacted by plummeting crop value. With the harvest now over, farmers have soybeans, lots of soybeans. The USDA estimates that 438 million bushels of soybeans were cut.

"We've just got an awful lot of beans in storage and China is our number one importer of soybeans and so when they decide not to buy from us it obviously affects, ya know, the soybeans produces here in the United States," said Rich Schmidt.
Schmidt owns one of those farms and says both he and his brother have not moved any beans.

The USDA says China typically buys between 30 to 35 million metric tons of soybeans in a normal year. But now Schmidt says they can only wait and hope that China decides to rally and buy more of the crop. Otherwise he is concerned that they will look elsewhere and that this would be the best market North Dakotans will see in the coming months.

"We always have to look forward to next year when we need those bins for you know the 2019 crop too so it's a question of how long we're going to store or if we're going to be adding more bins on to the operation," said Schmidt.

In the future, Rick Schmidt says he believes farmers should still be optimistic.

"If you look at North Dakota we probably are number one in ten plus different crops in the United States here and we have options," said Schmidt.

Schmidt says some farmers are already switching to other crops like wheat, peas or crops for live stock producers.