Skip to content
Subscriber Only

What Trade War? Trump Heartland Sees Record Farm Sales to China

  • China’s U.S. corn purchases are up 1,300% from pre-trade war
  • America has to watch ‘putting too many eggs’ in China: Vilsack
Corn is harvested in Illinois on Sept. 29, 2020.
Corn is harvested in Illinois on Sept. 29, 2020.Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg
Updated on

Measured by the bushel, the U.S.-China relationship has never been stronger.

Through the trade war and open hostilities at the highest political levels, pig farmers in China and crop farmers in the U.S. have become increasingly interdependent. Already America’s biggest customer of soybeans and sorghum, for this season China bought an unprecedented 11.2 million metric tons of corn, up nearly 1,300% compared with pre-trade-war purchases.

For the moment, both sides seem happy. The American imports have helped China feed its hog herd, which is recovering faster than expected after the African swine fever outbreak created a shortage of the country’s most staple protein. Meanwhile, U.S. farm profits are at a seven-year high, riding China’s demand and additional support from federal aid to agriculture.