Brazil soybeans rebound, futures dip on fresh US tariff threat

06.04.2018

Premiums for soybeans over futures rocketed again late Thursday after the close as US President Donald Trump ramped up the rhetoric and proposed $100-billion of additional tariffs on Chinese goods.

After ending Thursday offered at 155 cents over May futures and bid at 150 cents, May tonnes loading out of Paranagua surged back towards the 200-cent level in the post-close, over-the-counter market, as futures tumbled 15 cents.

According to one source, paper premiums traded at 150 cents, 170 cents and 190 cents as front month futures on the Chicago Board of Trade fell from their settle of $10.31/bu to $10.03/bu, before rebounding to $10.17/bu – where they were trading at 01.30 Eastern Time.

The price move erased much of Thursday’s retracement, which had seen premiums fall from 200 cents to 150 cents on growing confidence that Chinese proposals to tax US imports of soybeans would be avoided.

However, that confidence eroded when after the markets closed on Thursday, President Trump said he had asked the US Trade Representative Office to examine whether it would be appropriate to levy taxes on $100 billion worth of additional Chinese goods and to identify which products.

He said the tariffs were being considered in “light of China’s unfair retaliation”.

On Wednesday China proposed to levy a 25% tax on $50 billion worth of US imports, including soybeans for what is says is retaliation for a US plan to levy a 25% tax on Chinese imports.

Under intense pressure from farm lobbies, Trump also said late Thursday he had asked his secretary of agriculture “to implement a plan to protect our farmers and agricultural interests.”

China has not yet set a date for the implementation to tax US soybeans, which were worth $14 billion last year, and the US proposals for all tariffs remain published for consultation until at least next month.


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