Top food CEO: China has stopped buying US soybeans due to trade tensions

Top food CEO: China has stopped buying US soybeans due to trade tensions
© Getty Images

The head of top U.S. food company Bunge Ltd. revealed that China has essentially stopped purchasing soybeans from the U.S. and has instead turned to countries such as Canada and Brazil amid trade tensions.

"Whatever they’re buying is non-U.S.,” Bunge Ltd. CEO Soren Schroder told Bloomberg on Wednesday. “They’re buying beans in Canada, in Brazil, mostly Brazil, but very deliberately not buying anything from the U.S.”


Schroder's comments come as trade tensions between the U.S. and China have ratcheted up over the past month. 

China responded to tariffs levied by President TrumpDonald John TrumpHR McMaster says president's policy to withdraw troops from Afghanistan is 'unwise' Cast of 'Parks and Rec' reunite for virtual town hall to address Wisconsin voters Biden says Trump should step down over coronavirus response MORE last month through slapping their own tariffs on U.S. goods, including targeting American soybeans. 

Schroder told Bloomberg that it is "very clear" that the tensions between China and the U.S. have deterred the Chinese from buying U.S. goods.

“How long that will last, who knows? But so long as there is this big cloud of uncertainty, that’s likely to continue," he said. 

A U.S. delegation including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow and trade and manufacturing adviser Peter Navarro are set to meet with Chinese officials on Thursday in Beijing to discuss the China-U.S. trade relations.

Trump tweeted about the summit late Wednesday, saying that his team is there the "negotiate a level playing field." 

Mnuchin said he was cautiously optimistic about the summit. 

“I'm cautiously optimistic about the meetings. I don’t really want to predict what’s going to happen, what’s not going to happen,” Mnuchin told Fox Business. “We’re going to go over there and have frank discussions.”