American farmers afraid of losing soybean market in China

CHINA - The Wall Street Journal recently published an article saying that &quot;China&#39;s imports of soybeans [have been] a boon for US farmers in recent years.&quot; Now the farmers are becoming concerned they will lose their market as China increases its soybean imports from South American countries. </b> <br><br> The US is one of the largest soybean exporters in the world. Soybean exports each year determine the livelihoods of farmers, and the impact can be far-reaching, affecting even national politics. <br><br> The US&#39; primary market used to be Europe, but it was forced to look elsewhere after suffering heavy blows when the European market stagnated. In 1996, Europe imported 8 million tons of soybeans from the US; in 2005 they only purchased 2 million tons. The emergence of the Chinese market gave the American farmers reason to hope again. <br><br> In 2005, the US exported US$2.3 billion worth of soybeans to China, an increase of 80 percent from 2001. Soybean has become the US&#39; third-largest export to China (after airplanes and semiconductors). China is the soybean farmers&#39; biggest overseas market. <br><br> Roy Bardole, a 63-year farmer from Iowa, produced 1090 tons of soybeans last year on his 48-hectare farm. He sold these soybeans to an agricultural cooperation, which then resold them to a large agriculture export group. <br><br> <i>Source: Peoples Daily Online</i>

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