(Bloomberg) -- Argentina has become the epicenter of soybean trading dynamics -- at least for now.
The South American nation has risen to become the top buyer of U.S. beans in the last three months as China looks elsewhere in an escalating trade war with the Trump administration. Almost 1.3 million metric tons of U.S. oilseed have been inspected for export to Argentina from Sept. 1 through Nov. 22, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That compares with none in the same year-ago period, USDA data show.
Normally, Argentina processes its own soybeans to export meal and oil. But with China on the hunt for non-American oilseed, it’s shipping out more raw beans and buying more from the U.S. to feed its crushers, especially after a drought earlier this year curbed output.
There’s another reason that Argentina’s the center of the soybean universe right now -- it’s hosting the Group of 20 later this week, when a meeting between Donald Trump and Xi Jinping may move the two economic superpowers closed to a trade deal.
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