China trade uncertainty builds as Phase One enters year two

There are questions about Chinese demand for U.S. ag products as the Phase One trade deal moves toward an anticipated Phase Two.

Iowa State University Extension economist Chad Hart says the hope and expectation is China will continue to buy from the U.S.

“But maybe not quite as strong as they have been over the past 12 to 18 months.”

He tells Brownfield while export activity slowed over the summer, this is when China usually reemerges in the U.S. market.  But there’s a caveat.

“We’re in year two of the Phase One deal. That means we’re in the last guaranteed year of that deal. And I think that is the wild card here.”

Hart says it’s possible Phase One forced China to buy a bit more the past two years, and now they’ll back off as if the trade deal were no longer in place.

However, he does expect demand for feed grains to remain relatively strong as China continues to rebuild its hog herd in the wake of African swine fever.

Brownfield interviewed Hart during a recent ISU Extension ag media day near Boone.

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