BEIJING, CHINA — China’s state-run agricultural companies have been told to stop buying soybeans and pork from the United States amid possible sanctions on Hong Kong, Bloomberg reported, citing sources familiar with the discussions.
Cofco and Sinograin were told to stop purchases, although private buyers were not told that, Bloomberg said. The companies had made inquiries on May 29 but no orders went through and they were absent from the market May 27 as well. Orders to buy pork also were suspended.
The companies bought Brazilian soy instead, Bloomberg said.
In response to China imposing a national security law on Hong Kong, US President Donald Trump had said the United States would revoke Hong Kong’s preferential treatment as a separate customs and travel territory from the rest of China.
Trump also said the United States would take steps to sanction Chinese and Hong Kong officials who were directly or indirectly involved in eroding Hong Kong’s autonomy from China.
As part of its phase one agreement, China has agreed to purchase about $36.5 billion of US agriculture products in 2020. So far, the Chinese have purchased about $3.35 billion in the first quarter due to the pandemic, Bloomberg said.