China halts US soy purchases amid trade war

China has halted purchases of American soybeans amid rising trade tensions, Bloomberg News reported Thursday.

People familiar with the matter told the outlet that state grain buyers have not received orders to continue with the so-called goodwill buying of American soybeans.

China has no plans to cancel previous orders, they added.


U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny PerdueGeorge (Sonny) Ervin PerdueUN warns of global food shortage caused by coronavirus measures: report USDA closes office wing due to coronavirus but faces concerns on telework Federal judge cites coronavirus in decision blocking Trump admin cut to food stamps MORE said in February that China had pledged to buy an additional 10 million tons of American soybeans, and data from the department shows China is yet to take 7 million tons of that total, according to Bloomberg.

Trade tensions between the U.S. and China have been escalating since negotiations collapsed earlier this month.

The Trump administration raised tariffs from 10 percent to 25 percent on $200 billion of imports, a move which China responded to by targeting $60 billion worth of U.S. agricultural exports.

The president has threatened another round of tariffs on Chinese imports if a trade deal is not reached.

As the world's largest soybean purchaser, losing Chinese demand will likely affect American production and prices.