Soybeans accounted for the majority of U.S. and Brazil’s agricultural exports to China in 2017
China is the world’s largest importer of soybeans and represented 65 percent of global soybean imports in 2017. Soybeans are the most prominent agricultural commodity exported to China by both the United States and Brazil. During 2017, prior to the Chinese government’s implementation of tariffs on U.S. soybeans, exports of soybeans were valued at $12.3 billion and accounted for 63 percent of U.S. agricultural exports to China. Conversely, soybeans accounted for less than 20 percent of U.S. agricultural exports to other regions. For example, U.S. soybean exports to Southeast Asia—the second-largest destination—were valued at $1.95 billion but accounted for 17 percent of agricultural exports to that region. The share of soybeans in U.S. agricultural exports was 14 percent for the European Union, 10 percent for the Middle East and North Africa, and 7 percent for other East Asian countries. The share of soybeans in Brazil’s agricultural exports to China was larger. During 2017, $20.3 billion of soybean exports accounted for nearly 88 percent of Brazil’s agricultural exports to China. Soybeans accounted for 14 percent of Brazil’s agricultural exports to the European Union—the second largest destination for Brazil’s soybeans. This chart appears in the ERS report, “Interdependence of China, United States, and Brazil in Soybean Trade,” released in June 2019.
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