Iran has emerged as the biggest buyer of US soybeans in August in the aftermath of trade tensions between China and the US, according to Baltic and International Maritime Council.
According to a recent report by BIMCO, the world’s biggest international shipping association, Iran has emerged as the biggest importer of US soybeans in August, while the exports of soybeans to China from the US were down 31% for the first eight months and 95% in August alone, compared to the same periods of last year.
Between October and March each year, the US becomes the main source of soybeans for China, with the largest portion of the 35.7 million tons in total that it ships there annually being imported during this period.
However, in March, the brewing trade war between the two countries saw China extend its tariffs on imports from the US to several more agricultural products including soybeans.
In August, only 67,000 tons of soybeans have been shipped from the US to China. This is a reduction of 95% year-on-year, BIMCO said.
There were only four months between January 2016 through to July 2018, that the US exported no more than one 82,000 DWT Panamax dry bulk cargo to Iran. In August 2018, 414,000 tons, the equivalent of five Panamax loads of soybeans were shipped to Iran – this amounts to 13.2% of total US soybean exports in August.
According to Bloomberg, for the second straight week, a bulk carrier with soybeans left the US Pacific Northwest destined for Iran on November 1. The ship with 56,951 metric tons of soybeans is the 13th cargo to depart the US for Iran since July.