China has grown significantly in world presence with respect to trade and overall market influence in the last two decades. When drilling down through the numerous sectors of trade and looking specifically at agricultural trade, we see an enormous jump in U.S. exports to China in the early 2000’s. Total U.S. exports to China and Taiwan increased from $5.04 billion in 1996, to $24.7 billion in 2016 this is a nearly 500 per cent increase in trade in 20 years. Why? A growing middle class, increased meat-protein consumption, more dairy more consumer focused products, and more animal feed ingredients. To see what this trade relationship looks like now we have created a trade info graphic to display the data. Additionally, agricultural exports to China will often pass through Taiwan, as such we have included Taiwan in the total exports to China to give a complete view of agricultural products with the destination being China.

With respect to Iowa trade with China, we have taken the share of Iowa production to U.S. production and created an allocated share of exports specific to Iowa. This is an estimated value based on production numbers.  This trade sheet provides insight into rough volumes of exports originating in Iowa. It is important to note that many grains and beans are sold to states such as Louisiana who in turn export from those locations. Therefore, accounting for exports of soybeans, corn, and other commodities from Iowa often falls upon the states with export depots near the ocean. To get a full understanding the estimation method using production shares provides a more complete picture of what is taking place. The following info graphic gives insight into the numbers behind U.S. and Iowa Trade with China and Taiwan:

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Preston Lyman is a Research Analyst with Decision Innovation Solutions (DIS). DIS is an Iowa-Based economic research firm which provides regular farm economics research and analysis to the Iowa Farm Bureau staff and members.