China to tax US soybean imports 25%: ministry

4 Apr 2018 | Andy Allan

China is to tax US soybean imports 25%, according to a statement from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce released Wednesday, which also targeted corn and durum wheat.

Soybean futures on the Chicago Board of Trade crashed over 4% on the news by 0340 Eastern Time, and by 1245 EST was trading 3.6% lower than the previous day's settlement.  

The move is in retaliation for proposed US tariffs on Chinese goods worth $60 billion announced last month and is levied against a list of 106 US products that includes chemicals, whiskey, cars and aircraft as well as agricultural produce.

"The tariff for imported goods such as chemicals, airplanes, etc. shall be levied at a rate equal to 25%, involving about US$50 billion in China’s imports from the United States in 2017," the statement said.

US soybean exports to China totalled 32 million mt in the last calendar year, worth about $14 billion.

According to Agricensus calculations, the cost of US soybeans with the new tax would increase prices by an additional $110/mt, making US oilseeds uncompetitive.

The implementation of the tax, which will be levied against $50 billion worth of US goods, will be announced separately, the statement said.