Data released today from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show the administration’s trade war is creating an increasingly critical situation for U.S. soybean growers, with zero exports to China last week in what is typically the peak season for shipments. During the same week last year, the U.S. exported 1.74 million metric tons of soybeans to China. About 70 percent of North Dakota soybeans are typically exported to Asia, primarily China.

U.S. soybean exports to China this marketing year, which began September 1, total 201,685 metric tons, compared to 6.4 million metric tons at this time last year, a 97 percent decrease. According to reports this week, in response to the trade war, China is moving to cut U.S. soybeans out of their market, shifting their supply chain to U.S. competitors like Brazil and cutting soybeans out of animal feed.

“These numbers are staggering and unprecedented since North Dakota farmers have spent decades developing the Chinese market for their soybeans. The loss of the Chinese market due to the administration’s trade war is an unfolding disaster for North Dakota soybean farmers,” Heitkamp said. “North Dakota farmers work hard all season and take huge financial risks to get their crops from seed to the combine. But instead of a payday, they’re facing financial hardship and uncertainty as they struggle to store their beans. It’s time for the administration to realize that there are no winners in a trade war.”