Chinese ports are loosening access restrictions as the COVID-19 situation improves across the country. Even so, the world’s largest pork consumer is recording its lowest-ever imports from the U.S.
In the week of March 5, Chinese buyers cancelled enough orders to push net U.S. export sales to negative 45,222 tons of pork — the lowest amount since the USDA initiated record keeping in 2013. The previous record was negative 17,614 tons.
Order cancellations also pushed net soybean sales to China — negative 90,281 tons — to the smallest quantity since the week of Aug. 5, 2019.
The coronavirus pandemic has stunted trade expectations formed after the U.S. and China signed a Phase 1 trade agreement in January. The deal included Chinese purchases of an additional $12.5 billion in U.S. farm products in 2020 above the 2017 sales level of $24 billion.
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said he expects China to draw from the U.S. soybean market in the late spring and summer.