soy beans

Prices for US soyabeans have fallen again as the US-China trade war kicked up a notch this week.

The US was poised to impose tariffs on a further $200bn worth of Chinese goods as The Grocer went to press, with China threatening to roll out “necessary retaliatory measures” against US imports.

The price of US soyabeans had recovered slightly after falling to below $8.20 per bushel - a 10-year low - in July, when China imposed reciprocal tariffs on $34bn (£26bn) worth of US goods.

However, the Chicago Board of Trade’s price for soyabeans dipped again as the trade war intensified this week, taking the price under $8.30 against a five-year average in excess of $10, according to Rabobank grain and oilseed analyst Michael Magdovitz.

“In a typical year, the US would export around 60% of its soyabeans to China, but the tariff has forced its buyers to look elsewhere,” says Magdovitz.

“Excellent weather with plenty of moisture at the end of the season means the US is just about to start a record harvest at the beginning of September, so if China doesn’t buy, it would leave excessive stocks on the market.”

In the UK, soyameal prices have dropped to the lowest levels seen so far in 2018 at $331.37/tonne [AHDB 28 August 2018], as the Brazilian soya industry gears up to plant record acreages in a bid to take advantage of increased demand from China. Increased demand has caused some inflation on the Brazilian market, but price rises have been offset in part by Brazil’s sliding currency.

It comes as German poultry giant PHW Group has invested in insect protein as a sustainable alternative to soya feed. The company said it aimed to “forgo the addition of soya in our poultry feed as far as possible”, in a bid to reduce its reliance on imports.