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Soybean prices sunk to a 10-year low after the trade war escalated and left little hope that China — the world's biggest soybean importer —would resume buying U.S. soybeans.

Expand chart
Data: FactSet; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios

Why it matters: Soybean farmers are once again at the center of a heightened trade war — targeted strategically by China. Some fear the damage may be irreversible. "We spent 40 years developing this trade relationship with China and in one fell swoop, it was all taken away," Bret Davis, a fourth-generation soybean farmer, tells Axios.

The big picture: The trade war is not just hitting the stock market. The commodity market has also been roiled — with prices for wheat, corn, pork and cotton falling — because of oversupply and flooding, which has exacerbated the trade war pain and caused sharp drops in farm income and increased bankruptcies.

  • "We have to borrow money to put out our crop and the way it looks right now, it's going to be difficult to pay that money back," Davis, who runs a 3,500-acre farm Ohio, (a top soybean exporting state) tells Axios.
  • Soybean farmers — who have depended on China for big soybean purchases for years — have fared the worst, as China purchases from the likes of Brazil instead. U.S. soybean shipments to China dropped to a 16-year low in 2018.

The bottom line: President Trump said the government was planning a second round of farm aid since the trade war began, worth $15 billion.

  • But Joe Brusuelas, an economist at consulting firm RSM U.S., warns "it may be difficult to repair damaged trade connections," causing prolonged pain beyond repair, as Brazil ups its soybean production thanks to more demand from China.

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Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring hazards ranging from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow, to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.

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Biden will move U.S. troops to Eastern Europe "in the near term"

President Biden boards Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews on Jan. 28. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said on Friday he plans to move U.S. troops to Eastern European and NATO countries “in the near term.”

Driving the news: “Not too many” U.S. troops, Biden added in remarks to reporters at Joint Base Andrew upon returning from a trip to Pennsylvania.