USSEC head discusses Chinese soybean demand
The head of the U.S. Soybean Export Council, Jim Sutter, says they are seeing some slowdown in global soybean demand because of the coronavirus.
“In China, people stayed out of restaurants for six to eight weeks and are still not back in the numbers that they were normally in,” Sutter says. “If you go around the world, you can see the same sort of things happening. In some of the new expanding markets, like Pakistan and Bangladesh, I’m sure those places are seeing a slowdown in poultry consumption versus what they were seeing a few months ago.”
On the positive side, Sutter says they’re still optimistic that the phase one agreement with China will move forward, “and it will result in large purchases of U.S. agricultural products in the second half of this year—and I think soybeans will on the forefront of that.”
If that happens, Sutter says, soybean sales to China should get back to pre-tariff levels—and possibly go even higher.
“The projections that we have internally show if they’re going to reach this 40-billion dollar—on average—purchase number for agricultural products, it’s going to take a lot of soybeans. Because there won’t be that many other things that can make it up in terms of dollar value.”
Sutter participated in an Iowa Soybean Association webinar on the impacts of COVID-19 on soybean producers.
AUDIO: Excerpt from Jim Sutter’s comments on the ISA webinar