Farmers count the cost of US-China trade war

America's soya bean exports to the world's biggest market have all but disappeared, leaving farmers dependent on a US$12 billion bailout

The final 230 miles of the Mississippi river have long reinforced American might in global food markets. Ten grain terminals tower like fortresses along its bends, receiving crops from upstream farms, banking them in concrete silos and sending them over the levees into the holds of foreign ships. Together they can export 500,000 tonnes a day.

Yet this year the autumn high season never came. The amount of grain and oilseeds moving through Mississippi river ports has dropped by 9 per cent since the autumn of 2017, according to the Federal Grain Inspection Service. Buoys for mooring vessels bob unused.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 10, 2019, with the headline 'Farmers count the cost of US-China trade war'. Print Edition | Subscribe