(Yicai Global) Jan. 16 -- China is expected to enlarge its soybean planting area this year to cope with the potentially higher tariffs caused by trade frictions with the US. Prices are likely to compete with imported produce, according to the agriculture ministry.
As the area expands, the supply of domestic soybeans will increase steadily, Tang Ke, a market chief at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said at a press conference today.
"The next few months will be a key planting period for the main soybean producing areas in northeastern China," Tang said. The ministry will track domestic and international production and market changes closely, release timely information about prices and demand, and offer policy support to guide market expectations.
This year, Argentina is expected to increase its soybean production 17 million tons from last year while the US has a lot of supply too, according to Tang. However, weather changes in South America may affect pricing.
Market analysts expect Chinese farmers to get back to US soybean sellers and resume buying, as trade prospects started to look clearer in early December when the two countries agreed on a 90-day trade truce.
Editor: Emmi Laine