US-China trade dispute clouds earnings picture for Monsanto parent Bayer

Bayer said it is difficult to predict 2019 earnings in its agriculture business, which now includes Creve Coeur-based Monsanto, as a result of the ongoing trade dispute between the U.S. and China.

The head of Bayer’s crop science division said the company could potentially benefit if more American farmers begin planting corn to avoid the Chinese tariff on soybeans enacted in response to U.S. tariffs.

Bayer, now the world’s largest producer of seeds and pesticides, has a bigger share of the market for corn seeds and related products than it does of the soybean market, so the company could benefit from a tariff-driven shift to corn.

New rounds of tariffs enacted this week by the U.S. and China increase the likelihood that President Donald Trump cold soon impose tariffs on virtually all Chinese imports to the U.S.

American soybean farmers have seen prices fall and export markets dry up after China slapped tariffs on their products during an earlier round of the trade dispute.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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