In 2016, China put in place a new grain import law to keep invasive weeds and other plant pests from entering their country. In 2017, they informed USDA that U.S. grain shipments, particularly soybeans, did not comply with the new law. They specifically cited increased detections of weed seeds. These weed seeds threaten U.S. access to China’s soybean market.
Soybeans are critical to the U.S. economy. Approximately 1 of every 3 bushels of U.S. soybean are shipped to China, making it the United States’ largest market for this commodity. In 2017, this export was valued at $12.4 billion, which is approximately 91% by value of all U.S. grains shipped to China.
For more information, visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) website outlining “A Systems Approach for U.S. Soybean”.