China June soybean imports fall on trade war, deadly pig disease

China June soybean imports fall on trade war, deadly pig disease

China has set a growth target range of 6% to 6.5% for 2019, down from the target of "about 6.5 per cent" set for previous year.

With global growth slowing and US tariffs on Chinese goods hurting demand from China's biggest export market, Chinese shipments have been weak for the past few months.

China's imports from the United States plunged in June amid a tariff war with Washington while exports to the USA market weakened.

China's June exports are expected to have declined 2 percent from a year earlier, according to the median estimate of 34 economists in a Reuters poll, compared with a 1.1% gain in May. Altogether the two giants have slapped each other with punitive tariffs covering more than $360 billion in two-way trade, damaging manufacturers on both sides of the Pacific.

"While the truce reached between Trump and Xi at the G20 late last month removes the immediate threat of further U.S. tariffs, our base case remains that trade talks will break down again before long", said Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics in a note.

The U.S. has imposed tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese imports, drawing retaliatory sanctions from Beijing on $110 billion in U.S. products.

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US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke on the phone with their Chinese counterparts this week, marking the first high-level contact following the G-20 meeting. China's total exports ticked up 0.1 percent on-year during the first six months while imports fell 4.3 percent.

Liu did not specifically mention the trade war with the USA at a symposium of local government officials and business delegates from China's export bases in provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Guangdong, Henan as well as the city of Shanghai on Thursday, but his comments are seen as a reassurance to not be afraid of an extended trade conflict and to focus on domestic economic issues. China's exports to the USA dropped 7.8 percent in June and more than 8 percent over the first half of the year. Purchases from the U.S. have collapsed, with imports in January-June shrinking to $58.9 billion from $84 billion a year ago - a roughly 30 percent drop in purchases which has hit American farmers particularly hard.

In the readout of the Xi-Trump meeting published by the state-run Xinhua news agency, it only mentioned that Mr Trump said he hoped China could increase imports from the U.S., and didn't say how Mr Xi or the Chinese team responded.

China's trade with the United States plunged in June amid a tariff war with Washington over Beijing's technology ambitions that has battered exporters on both sides.

But no deadline has been set for the process to conclude, leaving the possibility of a protracted negotiation that lasts well into a presidential election year. However, it appeared as if he was taunting this possibility as he tweeted on Thursday that he is hoping for Beijing to "start soon" in purchasing American agriculture products.

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