It’s an early Christmas for suffering U.S. soybean farmers.
The Chinese government offered Chinese soy importers at least one million tons in new tariff waivers. The importers immediately purchased five bulk cargo shipments, about 300,000 tons, for shipment early next year.
The fresh allotment of tariff waivers, which exempts importers from 30% tariffs on U.S. shipments, comes after buyers used up nearly all of the 10 million tons in waivers awarded by the Chinese government in October.
Responding to U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods, China slapped steep tariffs on U.S. agricultural products, which caused chaos in the global grain market.
Monday’s purchases, the largest in at least two weeks, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) data, came ahead of a Dec. 15 deadline, when U.S. President Donald Trump has said he would impose a new round of tariffs on Chinese goods.
China said on Monday that it hoped to make a trade deal with the United States as soon as possible, before the new tariffs kick in.
It’s possible that the timing of the latest soybean purchase isn’t accidental. The Chinese could be trying to gain a little favor or goodwill ahead of the new tariffs on Sunday. They could be looking to delay the new tariffs, reach a deal on the so-called phase one, or both.