Soybean Exports Have Crashed in 2018

Apropos of nothing in particular, I thought I’d check in and see how US soybean exports are doing. As you’ll recall, we ship a lot of soybeans to China, but in July China levied a 25 percent tariff on American soybeans in retaliation for our tariffs on steel, aluminum, and other products. Here are exports to China in 2018 compared to 2017:

Exports to China dropped to nearly zero as soon as the tariffs were put in place. But maybe exports to the rest of the world have made up for this. Let’s take a look:

Nope. Summer exports weren’t too far from normal, but the big fall soybean season has crashed completely. September shipments were down by a quarter, while October and November shipments (through 11/18) were down by nearly half. This is the price of stupid trade wars.