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U.S. soybean shipments to China, its largest buyer, reached 2.6 million tons, according to Chinese customs data. The deliveries marked a sharp turnaround from November 2018, when China's purchases dropped to zero from 4.7 million tons just a year earlier, dealing a blow to U.S. growers as a trade fight heated up between Beijing and the Trump administration.
China relies on soybeans to feed its pig herd, which totaled 440.6 million heads in March 2018, by far the largest in the world, according to Statista data. However, the herd has been depleted by as much as half due to an outbreak of African swine flu.
As part of the deal U.S. trade deal reached Dec. 12, China promised to purchase $200 billion of new U.S. products over the next two years, including $50 billion of agriculture, in addition to making reforms on intellectual property theft, technology transfer and financial services. The agreement has not yet been put in writing.
On Monday, President Trump said he and Chinese President Xi Jinping would eventually get together to sign the agreement.
“When we get together, we will do [it.] But we’ll have a quicker signing [first] because we want to get it done,” Trump told reporters at Mar-a-Lago. “The deal is done. It’s just being translated right now.”