BEIJING, CHINA — A month after it imposed tariffs on shipments from the United States, China saw a significant reduction in grain imports, according to figures published by China’s General Administration of Customs.
In July, the United States imposed 25% tariffs on all aluminum and steel coming from China, and the Chinese responded by slapping tariffs on a number of U.S. products, including soybeans, sorghum and corn. The report said in August grain imports declined in those categories.
The customs agency said China brought in only 60,000 tonnes of sorghum in August, 79% below the 259,892 tonnes it imported the previous August and down from 220,000 tonnes in July.
China bought 330,000 tonnes of corn in August, down 13.5% from 377,518 tonnes in August a year ago.
Wheat imports also fell 51.6% compared to the previous August, with 140,000 tonnes received.
Barely imports were also lower in August at 550,000 tonnes, down 29.1% from August 2017.
Although the General Administration of Customs did not list import totals from specific countries, China typically imports about one-third of its corn and wheat and almost all of its sorghum from the United States.
Soybean import totals for August were not listed in the report, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently said Chinese imports for the 2018-19 marketing year are forecast to fall by 1 million tonnes.