Crops and Pesticide Market in the Sino-US Trade War

Report edition: 2018 edition(1)
Finished time:
Document type: PDF
Total pages : 21
Language version: English
Published by CCM
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  • Introduction
  • Main contents
  • List of tables
  • List of figures


The US-China trade tensions appeared to ease, but due to the previous tight relationship between China and the US during the Sino-US Trade War, some crops and pesticide products have been influenced, which deserves attention.

Soybean, sorghum, corn and cotton are included in the list of products originating from the US that are set to be subject to additional tariffs by the Ministry of Commerce of China. Among them, soybean is China’s most powerful weapon in the trade war. China produces 14 million tonnes soybeans a year while consumes some 90 million tonnes of the products, 85% of which are imported. China’s soybean is highly dependent on overseas market. In 2017, China's import volume of soybean hit a record high of 95.53 million tonnes, up by 13.9% year on year. And Brazil, the US and Argentina were the three largest import origins of soybeans to China, with the import volume being 50.93 million tonnes, 32.85 million tonnes and 6.58 million tonnes respectively.

Pesticide products are not included in the US proposed list of products imported from China that could be subject to additional tariffs, therefore, the Sino-US trade war doesn’t have an obvious direct impact on most domestic enterprises of pesticide technical and formulations.

It’s worth noting that the tariff list of these crops will indirectly affect the pesticide market in China as pesticides are indispensable parts of crop cultivation. In recent years, many pesticide products the US imported have come from China, including glyphosate, glufosinate ammonium, atrazine, clethodim, dicamba, sulfentrazone, fomesafen, paraquat, bifenthrin, mesotrione, chlorothalonil and methomyl, etc. In 2017, export volume of China's glufosinate ammonium products to the US occupied 47% of China's total, which was far more than that to Australia, the second export destination of China's glufosinate ammonium products. It's estimated that the Sino-US trade war will have relatively great impact on China's export of glufosinate ammonium products.

To find out how crops and pesticides have been influenced, CCM has done some research, including import and export, planting areas, crop output, etc. This report attaches importance to the following parts:

-  Corn planting area and output in China, 2013–2017
-  Soybean planting area and output in China, 2013–2017
-  Sorghum planting area and output in China, 2013–2017
-  Export destinations of China’s glyphosate, glufosinate ammonium, atrazine, clethodim
-  Agrochemical enterprises in the trade war

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