China is the world’s largest soybean market. Their biggest exporter: the United States.
But a potential 25 percent tariffs on American soybeans means there may be an opening in China for Canadian producers.
“Soybeans is an export market for us, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a 100 per cent export, so if we have more opportunities it never hurts to get to new markets or more markets,” Dustin Klym, the owner of Condie Seed said.
Soybean has exploded across Saskatchewan. In 2016, just 250,000 acres were being seeded. This year, it’s expected to be 800,000 acres. Of the $2.5 billion of Canadian soybeans exported last year, $250 million of that came from Saskatchewan.
“It’s an expanding crop because it’s something new and interesting, and a lot of people are trying to grow it. It felts well for a lot of agri-nomic issues that we have currently,” Klym said.
Just because there’s potential to expand into China, doesn’t mean Saskatchewan producers will be able to take advantage.
“It certainly produces opportunities for Saskatchewan producers, but we also have to be on the defensive, in that the United States will be looking for other markets to ship those soybeans, and will be competing with us in those other markets, most notably Japan,” explained Chris Dekker, CEO of Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership.
Canadian producers are approaching the developments with cautious optimism, while there’s interest in growing and new markets, Canada is still a small player on the world stage; Brazil, Argentina, and of course America dwarf Canadian exports.
Though the tariffs aren’t official yet, Dekker says they could still impact seeding decisions.