Canadian Soybeans: Agricultural uncertainty a result of China-U.S. Tariffs

Melanie ConsCanadian Farm News

It’s been said that as Canadians, living next to the United States is like sleeping next to an elephant: no matter how even tempered the beast, every twitch and grunt affects us. We are seeing the results of this restlessness even more currently with the tariffs that the United States and China are currently in the process of leveling against each other. In an attempt to punish Trump’s base, China has targeted agriculture and imposed a strict 25% tariff on soybeans. What does that mean for the Canadian farmer?

“Any disruption in trade is potentially negative for Canada,” said Markus Haerle, chair of Grain Farmers of Ontario. “We are hopeful that all parties will continue to work toward a solution. Although there is no way to be sure what the outcome of the dispute will be, this kind of uncertainty will not benefit anyone long term.”

There could be opportunities, however, according to the GFO. If American soybeans are being hurt by Chinese tariffs, Canadian soybeans could become more competitive in China. However, the flip side is that the American soybeans will still have to be sold in other countries. The U.S. was shipping at least 35 million tons of soybeans to the Chinese market and this surplus could affect the competitiveness of Canadian beans in other markets, including close to home in Ontario.