China's largest oil refiner recently rolled back their plans to expand their purchases of American oil from 300,000 barrels per day to 500,000 per day because of Trump's trade war, but the situation is apparently far worse than that.
According to census data released this morning, China didn't just cancel their plans to buy more oil; they've actually stopped buying American oil.
The world’s second largest economy halted purchases of U.S. crude in August for the first time since September 2016, according to U.S. Census Bureau data released Friday. In July, Chinese buyers received nearly 12 million barrels of crude from the U.S. [...]
The future of American crude shipments into China remains uncertain and there is still no guarantee that threats of a U.S. crude tariff won’t resurface as the trade conflict persists. American oil producers, particularly those who operate in the key Permian Basin of West Texas and New Mexico, risk feeling the pain from the ongoing tensions as they increasingly look to foreign shores to market their supplies, as local demand becomes saturated.
For the environmentally conscious, this doesn't mean American oil companies will pump less oil, it just means they'll be joining the club with American farmers who've lost access to the largest market in the world. China stopped buying American soybeans and sorghum over the summer in response to Trump's tariffs.
I think we should expect that the club of American industries who've lost access to the Chinese market will become far less exclusive in the coming months and next year as China replaces imports.
After Trump imposed tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods, China's state-controlled media said the government would focus on replacing imports and opening up access for other countries that aren't waging a trade war against them. And according to other reports, China is replacing American oil with oil from West Africa.
I'm certainly not an expert, it seems most likely to me that China will stop buying most if not all American agricultural products in the near future. And in that case, Trump's bailout for farmers during the current harvest season will be dwarfed by what they and other industries ask for next year.
We may see members of Congress call for a full-blown stimulus bill next summer.