Holiday E-Commerce Sales Were Up 18.8 Percent But Retail Sales Only Increased 3.4 Percent Over Last Year

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Chinese importers bought 2.56 million tons of soybeans from the U.S. in November, and 1.15 million tons in October. In 2018, Chinese importers stopped buying American soybeans due to the tariff war, but now that a phase one trade deal is in the works China gave its importers the green light to buy American soybeans again.

The recent soybean purchases gave American farmers hope the Chinese would forget about buying Brazilian soybeans. But Chinese importers bought 3.9 million tons of soybeans from Brazil in November. That’s down from the 5 million tons the Chinese bought last year, but it still shows Brazil took a huge chunk of the soybean business away from the United States.

Orders for Brazilian soybeans in December should beat the November number, so it’s unclear if U.S. farmers will get all their soybean business back if China signs the phase one deal in January. Mr. Trump claims China will buy $40 million tons of soybeans in 2020. But going from 3.9 million tons to $40 billion worth of soybeans that quickly seems a bit optimistic. But Trump claims the Chinese will buy that much as well as stop intellectual property thief.

That’s another tall Trumpian tale since China is the knockoff capital of the world. China’s manufacturing sector depends on duplicating intellectual property from the U.S. and other countries. China usually makes minor changes in intellectual property and sells it at attractive prices. But China said it will stop knocking off brands and searching for ways to use the intellectual property of others to increase their Gross Domestic Product output.

U.S. manufacturing numbers for big-ticket items dropped two percent in November. Orders for durable goods fell two out of the last three months. Transportation equipment orders dropped by almost six percent and defense aircraft and parts orders fell 14 percent this year. Boeing’s 737 Max debacle hurt the U.S. manufacturing sector, so the news Boeing’s CEO resigned should help revive that part of the manufacturing sector.

Mr. Trump celebrated the 3.4 percent increase in holiday retail sales. The Trumpster claimed that increase was the biggest increase in history. But holiday sales in 2018 were up by 5.1 percent, so Trump tweet will go down as another lie to back up his claim his economy is in great shape. E-Commerce sales increased by 18.8 percent and that helped the produce the overall increase of 3.4 percent.

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