US farming sector stockpiles Chinese chemicals before new tariffs hike
Additional charges, threatened by Trump, come into effect in January as part of an eight-month trade war between the two countries
US agriculture suppliers are stockpiling the Chinese chemicals that farmers need to kill crop pests and boost yields — before tariffs on them more than double on January 1. The additional tariffs, threatened by US President Donald Trump, are part of an eight-month trade war between the US and China affecting $250bn in Chinese products and $113bn in US goods. The duties could disrupt supply lines for US companies that sell chemicals and fertilisers, part of a $28bn US farm chemical industry. The sector relies on Chinese imports for 40% of the ingredients and materials needed to make crop chemicals, according to consultancy Informa. Nutrien, the biggest US retailer of farm supplies, is stockpiling enough chemicals to last into the busy 2019 planting season, the company said. Nutrien is carrying $300m more in chemical inventory than it had a year earlier. Other distributors are doing the same, said Daren Coppock, CEO of the Agricultural Retailers Association. Those who have the means t...