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China’s Soybean Demand Hit by Swine Fever

Raises doubts about Beijing’s trade promises

As the U.S. and China continue to negotiate a trade deal aimed at satisfying both sides, soybeans are emerging as a bargaining chip for Beijing to use as leverage in those talks, reports CNBC.

But while Beijing has pledged to buy more American soybeans, analysts question if China — the world’s largest consumer of the oilseed — has the appetite for it.

In addition to tariffs brought on by the ongoing trade dispute, falling import numbers and an outbreak of African swine fever in China have added to concerns that the world’s second largest economy may not be able to live up to its pledges to buy more.

The African swine fever has hit China’s pig farming sector, driving hog numbers down and pushing the demand for soybean feed lower amid large global stockpiles.

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