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china trade war

Trump's tariff threats spell trouble for soybeans

President Trump's threat to increase tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods has already reverberated across the stock market.

The S&P 500 slumped globally, Bloomberg reports, with tech and machinery companies among the biggest decliners in early trading on Monday. Commodities felt the effects, as well, including cotton, oil, and corn. But soybeans had a particularly rough go of it, with contracts headed toward their largest drop in about nine months. And the future is looking even worse.

Trump's trade war with China has been tough on the agricultural industry, in general. A Wall Street Journal analysis from February found that farmers in the Midwest are filing for the highest number of bankruptcies in a decade. Soybeans have taken a huge hit in the process — in December 2018, 3.7 billion bushels of the legumes were sitting in storage, a record high in the United States. China imports more U.S. soybeans than any other country.

Despite the bleak outlook, not all soy bean farmers are deterred, CNN reports. Many have remained patient throughout the trade negotiations and some will continue to plant at a similar rate.