“The strategy with the tariffs the Trump Administration has employeed is to attempt to do more damage to China than we do to the U.S. Can the U.S. do more damage?” Purdue University Ag Economist Chris Hurt told AgriTalk After the Bell listeners. “Well… we import about $500 billion in goods from China while China imports about $130 billion in goods from the U.S. That’s where the trade imbalance President Trump is focused on comes from. But, China is also a huge buyer of U.S. debt and services, and that’s not being accounted for.”
Hurt told ATB host Chip Flory the U.S. holds a trade surplus with China in ag products, which puts U.S. farmers and ranchers in the crossfire of this trade war. Hurt also answered a question from an ATB listener that wondered if bean prices could get back to pre-tariff levels and how long it might take to post a “full recovery.”
Hurt said there are several factors at play in the current bean market and explained good growing conditions for most of the bean crop would have brought seasonal pressure to the market.
“If the tariffs were not in place, I project that November bean futures would be at about $9.30. So if the tariffs are lifted, I’d see potential to get back to that level, but I just don’t see $10-plus bean prices with the crop we’ve got growing in the field.”