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Global Markets: China well able to buy U.S. ag products

By MarketsFarm

WINNIPEG, Dec. 20 (MarketsFarm) – The following is a glance at the news moving markets in Canada and globally.

– While hard details of the Phase One trade deal between the United States and China remain scant, Chinese agriculture consultancy JCI said on Friday the country is quite able to purchase more than US$40 billion of agricultural products from the U.S., reported Reuters. There has been speculation that China wouldn’t be able to meet that condition in the trade agreement. However, JCI went as far to say China is able to buy 45 million tonnes of U.S. soybeans worth US$18.7 billion. The firm said China could also acquire 8 million tonnes of corn worth US$1.7 billion and 5 million tonnes of wheat at US$1.4 billion. Each of the three commodities would be record purchases for China. Although a firm date has yet to be announced, indications from the U.S. are Phase One would be signed in early January.

– Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called on U.S. President Donald Trump to not sign the Phase One deal until the two Canadians detained in China for a year are released. Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig are facing espionage-related charges and this week Chinese investigators turned over the cases to prosecutors. On Friday, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson made a terse statement regarding Canada’s position. “As for the two citizens Canada is constantly nagging about, these two people were suspected of conducting activities that harm China’s national security,” adding Trudeau’s efforts were “doomed to fail.”

– By a vote of 385 to 41 on Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the trade deal that succeeds NAFTA. Democrats held up passage of the new agreement, reportedly to improve labour and environmental standards. The Senate will now vote on the USMCA for it to be ratified by the U.S. Meanwhile, Mexico ratified the UMSCA before the recent changes and the Canadian parliament will act on the agreement in early 2020.

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