The trade war made it a challenging year for U.S. soybean exports. According to the U.S. Soybean Export Council, shipments to China are about one-third of what they were in previous years. The U.S. soybean industry is looking to increase market share in existing markets like the European Union, Japan and Mexico and grow in brand new markets, places where not much soy is consumed. U.S. Soybean Export Council CEO Jim Sutter says the industry is also trying to keep good relations with historic China customers, but the relationship between the U.S. and China may not ever be the same. Sutter says it’s hard to know for sure. “I’ve got to think over time we’ll get back to having a trading relationship with China. Will it be what it used to be? Maybe not and maybe that’s ok if we’ve grown our market share in other places,” he says. “I can’t see a situation where we’d have zero market share in China.” The U.S. Soybean Global Trade Exchange will address concerns facing the industry later this week in Chicago.
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