In the months following China’s retaliatory introduction of tariffs on U.S. soybean exports, both traditional and social media were abuzz with the screeching sound of ‘analysts’ claiming that Trump Administration trade war with China is a boon to Vladimir Putin’s Russian economy.
Behold this from the
- Venerable CFR (albeit intellectually vulnerable): Trump’s Trade War With China Makes Russia Great Again and
- WSJ: A Surprise Winner From the U.S.-China Trade Spat: Russian Soybean Farmers and
- Bloomberg: China Buys Record Amount of Russian Soy as It Shuns U.S. Growers and more Bloomberg China Turns to Russia in Search to Replace U.S. Soybeans and
- And a good collection of sources across the media here: Is Russia profiting from Trump tariff policies as US farmers continue to suffer and
- The Hill: China buys record amount of Russian soybeans after canceling US orders over Trump threats and
- A more somber and sober analysis from Carnegie Moscow Center: Can Russia’s Far East Feed China With Soy? and so on
Alas, given that Russia supplies less than 1% of Chinese imports of soybeans, it might take a major Congressional investigation and a few PoliSci ‘Russia experts’ to get serious imaginary beef on the Trump Administration’s alleged Russia-benefiting policies.
Here is the data from … well… Bloomberg, via Global macro Monitor showing that Russia is hardly a major winner from Trump’s Trade Wars when it comes to soybeans:
Let’s put the thin blue line of ‘Russia winning, thanks to Trump’ through some analysis:
- There is no dramatic massive rise in Russian exports of soybeans to China in 2018, and some dip in 2019.
- 2018 increase – moderate – came in after 2017 moderate decrease.
- Russian exports of soybeans to China have been rising-falling-rising very gently since 2013.
Friendly Canada quietly dramatically increased its sales of soybeans to China in the wake of the Trade War, although its exports were rising since 2015. Argentina also acted as a substitute supplier to China during the Trade War period so far, but that increase came on foot of massive collapse in exports to China since the start of this decade. In fact, while the U.S. share of Chinese imports of soybeans fell 30 percentage points, Brazil’s share rose 35 percentage points.
Trump’s Administration-triggered Trade War with China has helped Brazil first, followed by Canada and Argentina. Russia hardly featured in this dastardly plot to serve Vladimir Putin’s interests by Agent Trumpovsky.
Sorry, my dear friends in American mass media. You’ve faked another factoid.
Source: True Economics