Sorghum Executive Tim Lust "Deeply Disappoined" Over Chinese Duties to be Accessed Against US Grain SorghumWed, 18 Apr 2018 05:52:16 CDT
The threat of a trade war with China became real Tuesday morning, as the Ministry of Commerce announced massive duties on sorghum imports from the United States. Beijing says effective Wednesday, all exporters are required to place a 178.6 percent deposit on the value of sorghum shipments to the country in response to a preliminary antidumping ruling. Reuters reports the move comes out of an anti-dumping investigation launched in February and seen as retaliation for aggressive trade actions by President Donald Trump – including steep tariffs on solar panels and washing machines.
Tim Lust, President and CEO of the National Sorghum Producers (NSP) says they “are deeply disappointed” with the ruling. The industry fully cooperated with China on the investigation and through thousands of pages of testimony presented facts that sorghum is not being dumped in China. Lust added that sorghum exports have not caused injury to that market. According to the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), China was the largest market for U.S. sorghum last year (189 million bushels). The amount represents a gradual decline in purchases over the past five years but still much more than Mexico, the second largest customer (22.4 million bushels).
Though the export market is important to sorghum, Lust is quick to point out that domestic demand remains strong in both the livestock and ethanol markets. Farmers are expected to plant 5.9 million acres of sorghum this year, according to USDA, which is a five percent increase over last year but almost three million acres less than five years ago.
Broadcast colleague Tony St. James talked with Tim Lust on Tuesday- click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear their conversation.
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