Domestic Economy

US Continues to Ship Soybeans to Iran Despite Sanctions

US Continues to Ship Soybeans to Iran Despite SanctionsUS Continues to Ship Soybeans to Iran Despite Sanctions

Escalating tensions between the US and Iran have not impeded a surge in soybean business that resulted from China's decision to shun American shipments as part of the nation's trade dispute.
Since July, 11 American soybean cargoes with a combined volume of 750,602 tons have headed to Iran, US Department of Agriculture data show. 
That's up fivefold from a year earlier. Confirmed deliveries in the nine months ended Aug. 31 were at 166,348 tons, according to the latest US figures.
China, the world's top oilseed buyer, introduced tariffs on US soybeans in July. Since then, as the US has turned to other markets to sell its soybeans, Iran has been the fifth-largest importer of American supplies, USDA inspection data show, reported 
The increase in US sales to Iran came despite tensions between the two countries, which escalated after US President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal Iran signed with world powers in 2015.
Notwithstanding, a cargo of US soybeans was crossing the Atlantic Ocean en route to Iran. The US in August announced trade sanctions that target the Middle Eastern country but exclude agricultural commodities.
The Vita Future, the bulk carrier sailing, departed Bunge North America's grain elevator in Destrehan, La., on July 9 and arrived in Iran's Bandar Imam Khomeini Port on Aug. 25.
Ten of the 11 soybean shipments to Iran have been from the Mississippi region's export elevators, transported down to the lower Mississippi River by barge or by rail from the soybean states in the US heartland. The Antigoni, Anna S and Seajoy bulk carriers are currently in transit to Iran.
Soybean futures have dropped 9.3% this year in Chicago. The Trump administration plans to provide $12 billion in aid to US farmers hurt by the trade war with China.
Other major soybean markets have been caught up in the shift in global trade flows. Brazil has benefited by increasing sales to China. 
This is while 170,000 tons of US supplies are heading to Argentina after a drought reduced output in the South American nation, the top producer of animal feed made from the oilseed.


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