China’s purchases of U.S. ag­­ricultural commodities are lagging significantly behind the pace needed to fulfill its promises under the Phase One trade agreement between the two countries, according to new trade data.

China imported just $3.1 billion of U.S. ag goods in the first quarter of the calendar year, said American Farm Bureau Chief Economist John Newton. 

“Given that approximately 30% of calendar year exports to China occur in the first quarter, the current export pace implies a calendar year total of $10.7 billion,” he noted. That’s well below the $36 billion of U.S. ag commodities that China pledged to buy in the first year of the Phase One trade deal. 

The ...