b'Recently Beijing announced a lowering ofBut buying more agricultural goods at the the growth of its GDP target from 6.5% to aexpense of other boxes yet to be checked range of 6% to 6.5% - the first concessionlikeIP[intellectualproperties],financial of the economic squeeze of the U.S. tariffsaccessandaccountabilitymightbemore and general issues China has with its tradethan the Trump Administration is willing to partners. This is the lowest growth forecastconcede even with the 2020 Presidential since the 1990s. Chinese Premier Li Keqiangelectionsbecomingtheelephantinthe said of the ongoing and widespread traderoom for all negotiations.disputes, Economic and trade frictions . [have] had an adverse effect on the produc- U.S.soyproducers,withorwithoutan tion and business operations of some com- agreement, still have crops to sell. To that panies.end,lookingforalternativemarketsas means of transporting soybeans to custom-Part of the dilemma of Beijing taking aimers has become a new priority. In Illinois, the atU.S.soybeansandotheragriculturalnumber one State for production in 2018, products is the difficulty in replacing them.LynnRohrscheib,asoybeanfarmerfrom According to the United States DepartmentFairmount, Ill., and Illinois Soybean Associ-of Agriculture (USDA), Brazilthe numberation (ISA) chairwoman said, Maximizing twoexporterofsoybeanstoChinawillyieldsandprofitabilityarepriorities,but have less supplies to ship. The USDA report- how we approach them has changed as the ed,Recordsoybeanexportsin2017/18,world around us changes. coupledwithareductioninthe2018/19[chart 1.11-3]harvest, will significantly reduce Brazils ex- Among the technological innovations that portable supplies in the coming year. Localthe ISA is looking to deploy is the shipping year (Feb/Jan) exports last year reached a re- container. While a vast majority of soybeans cord 84.2 million tons, 15.4 million aboveare shipped either bulk or breakbulk, con-the previous record volume of 68.8 milliontainershippingoffersadvantagesinship recorded in 2016/17. scheduling, unit sizes, storage and accessi-bility to wider markets. What this means is China will either have to dig in and prepare for some domestic eco- AustinRincker,asoybeanfarmerfrom nomic discord or make a deal. In a sense thisMoweaqua,Ill.,andISAMarketingCom-was outlined by Premier Li at the openingmittee chairman, said of the box alternative, of the National Peoples Congress (March 5)We focus on improving logistics to get soy-when he said, We must be fully preparedbeans to market, including by rail, road and for a tough struggle. The difficulties we facewaterway. On the heels of another record must not be underestimated, our confidenceharvest in Illinois, we continue to focus on must not be weakened, and the energy weexpandingtradeopportunities.Forexam-bring to our work must not be allowed tople, we are working with industry partners wane. to step up container shipping to open the door to new, diverse international markets The dilemma for U.S. negotiators is no lessfor soybean exports. problematic. According to a Bloomberg re-port in late February, China proposed a dealIf a deal gets made between the U.S. and for some $30 billion in U.S. agricultural ex- China, soybean farmers stand to be the big portsmore than twice the $14.8 billionwinners. In the meantime, finding alterna-China spent in 2017. China imports globallytive markets and transportation measures is around $126 billion in agricultural productsa skill that might come in handy for the next annually. Back in 2017 soybeans accountedtime around.for just over $12 billion with another $2.5 billionsplitlargelybetweencotton,corn and wheat. 2019 Collection Breakbulk Shipping 25'