Tariffs have been making bigger headlines than the USDA report as of the last few weeks. While these tariffs are only proposals currently, they are causing much stir in the industry for obvious reasons. Currently, the United States has proposed a three-billion-dollar tariff on Chinese goods. China responded with the same amount placed on US goods in retaliation. Back and forth the US and China went, ending with the most recent threat of $100 billion on Chinese goods put forth by the US. We have a $375 billion trade deficit with China currently, so they have quite a bit to lose if they do not come back to the bargaining table. All of this has created a great deal of volatility on US grain and other agricultural markets.
China cannot turn away from the US for soybeans since they buy a significant amount from us. Even though they import large amounts of the crop from South America as well, South America cannot produce the amount Chinese demands on their own. These proposed tariffs, however, did help to make several large sales of corn, soybeans and soybean oil.
President Trump has said that he will not allow the American Farmers to be the victims of any tariffs; if something does happen that does act negatively towards farmers, they are working on alternative plans to aid. There will be a public hearing at the US International Trade Commission in Washington, DC hearing on May 15th to further trade talks.