The US secretary of agriculture has reassured farmers concerned about the impact of the trade war with China
Farmers will not have to ‘bear the brunt’ of China’s retaliatory tariffs in the US-China trade war, according to US secretary of agriculture Sonny Perdue.
Mr Perdue appeared on CNBC to reassure farmers concerned about Chinese trade tariffs the US President will protect them.
“There is legitimate anxiety when you see prices depressing. But farmers are resilient, they understand China has not been playing fair,” Mr Perdue said.
He said farmers were patriotic but ‘also know patriotism cannot pay the bills’.
“The President has told me to tell [farmers] he is not going to allow them to bear the brunt of these trade disruptions and to make a plan for mitigation unless we are unable resolve the trade issue.
“That is obviously what farmers would prefer. They would like to have trade. They want to sell their products, they are the most productive in the world.
“They have come to depend on exports, and that is their first choice. But if they do not, they have to pay their bills like everyone else.”
While he did not confirm, when asked, whether the USDA would buy up farm produce at taxpayer expense, Mr Perdue said they had various options in their tool box and they were assessing what was normal volatility and what was hit by the trade.
In the wheat markets, Gleadell trading support analyst David Woodland said increasing anxiety over the dispute had provided a backdrop of strong liquidation selling, ‘especially in the corn and bean markets, which have spilled over into the wheat pit’.
Progress in the winter wheat harvest and ‘very good ratings’ for the spring wheat crops were putting pressure on markets.
Benjamin Bodart, CRM Agri Commodities analyst, said the escalating tensions between Washington and Beijing were the main catalyst in the oilseeds markets.
He said the uncertainty meant July 18 CBOT soybean futures had tumbled, with soymeal prices also down.
“The excellent soy conditions across the US Midwest also weighed on the ‘green gold’ with 73 per cent of the US crop rated ‘Good/Excellent’ as of June 24 – the best condition ever,” he said.