Farmer Terry Davidson walks through his soy fields in Illinois in July. Photo: Nova Safo/AFP/Getty Images

America's soybean farmers are hanging onto their crops in an attempt to wait out President Trump's trade war with China, more than doubling U.S. soybean inventories, reports Bloomberg.

The big picture: Retaliatory tariffs have drastically pushed down demand for American soybeans in China, easily the crop's largest market, with imports down by nearly 90%. And prices have fallen, too, as a bushel of soybeans now trades for less than $9 compared to more than $11 earlier in the year.

Between the lines: Unlike corn, soybeans don't store well, so farmers are risking their livelihoods for an economic detente that isn't guaranteed.

  • Soy had become one of the few bright spots in the American farming market given Chinese demand, so production has reached record levels just as demand crashed.
  • But many farmers have the same idea, pushing potential soy storage areas like containers and silos to the limit, forcing some to resort to one-time-use plastic bags. "I’ve heard farmers and commercial companies putting corn and soybeans into tool sheds and caves," Soren Schroder, the CEO of Bunge, the world’s largest processor of soybeans, told Bloomberg.

What's next: Bloomberg pegs soybean futures at $9.27 for next July, meaning that farmers could at least recoup some of their cash — even if it won't be at levels like earlier this year — as hope springs that the U.S. and China could reach a soybean deal at the G-20.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Former officer who shot Breonna Taylor indicted on wanton endangerment

A memorial to Breonna Taylor in downtown Louisville, Kentucky on Sept. 23. Photo: Jeff Dean/AFP via Getty Images

A grand jury has indicted Brett Hankison, one of the Louisville police officers who entered Breonna Taylor's home in March and shot her at least eight times, on three counts of wanton endangerment.

The state of play: None of the three officers involved in the botched drug raid will face charges related to the actual death of Taylor, such as homicide or manslaughter. The two other officers, Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove, were not charged at all. Hankison's bond was set at $15,000.

FDA chief vows agency will not accept political pressure on coronavirus vaccine

Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn promised that "science will guide our decision" for a coronavirus vaccine at a Senate hearing on Wednesday.

Why it matters: More Americans are expressing doubt about a first-generation vaccine, despite President Trump's efforts to push an unrealistic timeline that conflicts with medical experts in his administration.

CEO confidence rises for the first time in over 2 years

Data: Business Roundtable; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

A closely-watched CEO economic confidence index rose for the first time after declining for nine straight quarters, according to a survey of 150 chief executives of the biggest U.S. companies by trade group Business Roundtable.

Why it matters: The index, which still remains at a decade low, reflects corporate America's expectations for sales, hiring and spending — which plummeted amid uncertainty when the pandemic hit.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!