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RFA: Early Signs of Trade War Damage Are Emerging

Radio Free Asia (RFA) recently reported that, while the China-U.S. trade war has not seen the actual implementation of any tariff increases yet, significant early signs of impact on the Chinese market have started to surface. Three days after China’s announcement of the potential 25 percent tariff increase against U.S. soy beans, the price of China’s primary fodder raw material, “soybean meal,” increased by eight percent. This price point was nearly 20 percent higher than the price at the beginning of March. Data from multiple fodder manufacturers showed that the fodder price increased significantly a week before China’s soy bean announcement. This round of fodder price increase spread across most of the cultured species like pigs, poultry, and fish. Sources refused to disclose the degree of the price increases. The report covered the data provided by sources in critical food-supply provinces like Guangdong, Sichuan and Anhui. Some fodder companies have started adjusting their product formula. Observers expressed their belief that the Chinese government will allow the trade war damage to be passed on to the general public. Overall consumer product price increases are widely expected. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce did not respond to any calls from the reporter.

Source: RFA, April 7, 2018