Economy

Brazilian Farmers Are Getting Paid More Than Trump’s Bailout

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Before Trump initiated a trade war with China, the Chinese bought up to 60 percent of all soybeans grown by American farmers. They stopped buying American soybeans altogether in response to Trump's trade war and Trump is now bailing out soybean farmers who've seen over half of their market disappear in an instant.

China chose to replace American soybeans with Brazilian soybeans and the surging demand has been very lucrative for Brazilian farmers.

In fact, they're getting paid more than what Trump's bailout is worth.

[China] is turning instead to Brazil, which has ridden the wave of Chinese demand for two decades to become a global agricultural powerhouse. Brazilian soybean exports to the Asian country jumped 22 percent by value between January and September, compared to the same period a year ago.

Brazilian producers are not only selling more grain, their soy is fetching $2.83 more per bushel than beans from the United States, up from a premium of just $0.60 a year ago, thanks to stepped up Chinese purchases.

The Department of Agriculture recently announced that soybean farmers in America will receive $1.65 per bushel while other farmers will receive even less than that.

When farmers say they want trade, not bailouts, this is why. Selling their crops to the biggest market in the world is far more reliable and lucrative than any temporary bailout could be.

One of the biggest risks of Trump's trade war is that the market will permanently shift and American farmers (and other American industries) will be cut off even when the trade war is over.

American industries can sell their goods and products elsewhere, but nothing can make up for losing access to the nearly 1.4 billion people who live in China where the middle class is already larger (over 480 million people) than the entire population of the United States.

  • notanncoulter

    are we all tired of winning yet?
    i know i am.
    have been since november of 2016.

  • Draxiar

    And despite the UN’s recent report on the climate what are the odds that Brazilian farmers will continue to eat into the rain forest to grow more fucking soybeans in order to meet the demand? Pretty good I’d say! There’s no bailout anyone could offer to make up for killing the current climate and the fallout from doing so.

  • katanahamon

    I’m not surprised at these stats..you can punish the middle class only for so long until the rest of the world surpasses us in terms of quality of life. I became disabled after a distinguished twenty five year professional career, four years of other work before that, undergrad and brief grad study before that. We work so hard in America for such long hours with so much stress (I’m talking about all of us other than the upper 1-5%) we don’t even have time to contemplate our situation. Health insurance is an outrageous percentage of our income, plus it doesn’t even cover a lot of costs, add in car insurance, student debts, housing markets that are also outrageous, low salaries with no increases in real wages..meanwhile the people at the top of our food chain have to hire assistants to catalog their millions of dollars worth of wine purchases. (Love the story about the guy who stole 500 bottles from the Goldman exec, worth over a million, the exec wasn’t even aware. Oh, the assistant got caught after traveling the world, was so indigent the cops had to pay to fly him to court dates, but the guy was terrified of prison, so he jumped out a window and killed himself. Hope he had plenty of good wine before..) So..after my digression I just think a major reawakening needs to happen in this country. As Rump said, “somebody is doing the raping,” and it’s the upper five percent. Time for torches and pitchforks…..

  • muselet

    If another country caused half the disruption to US exports that Donald Trump has caused, it would rightly be seen as a hostile act.

    “Trade wars are good, and easy to win.”

    I’m not sure we can stand much more winning like this.

    –alopecia

  • Aynwrong

    I’ll bet American soybean farmers would love to make their businesses great again?