China Tariffs Target US Farm Belt: Stocks and ETFs in Focus

Shutterstock photo

Finally, the dragon is ready to take on the eagle in the raging import tariff issue. Though the Asian country initially announced $3 billion worth of retaliatory tariffs on U.S. imports, it matched the tariff value (more than $50 billion) this week with the United States and declared that it will levy tariffs on more than 100 American products. The move came after the United States proposed $50 billion tariffs on 1,300 Chinese products (read: 8 Must-Watch ETFs if Trump Slams Tariffs on China by Friday ).

Notably, Beijing's retaliatory tariffs target U.S. agricultural and food exports considerably. The product list comprises yellow soybean, black soybean , corn, corn flour, other wheat and mixed wheat, different kinds of fresh and cold beef, dried cranberries, frozen orange juice, non-frozen orange juice and whiskies.

The move was expected only. After all, China purchases about half of the U.S. soybean and the country is the second-largest buyer of American cotton. Needless to say, funds like Teucrium Soybean Fund SOYB , Teucrium Corn ETF CORN , iPath Pure Beta Cotton ETN CTNN and iPath Bloomberg Livestock SubTR ETN COW will be in focus now. SOYB and CORN were down more than 1.8% and 1.9%, respectively, on Apr 4.

Will These Agriculture Stocks Hit a Wall?

DowDuPont Inc DWDP fears its agriculture unit could be hurt by the rising trade qualms as there could be " price declines in the total market " for soybeans, quoted on Reuters. Agricultural machinery maker Deere & Co DE lost about 2.9% on Apr 4. Soybean exporter Archer Daniels Midland Co ADM and another agribusiness Bunge Limited BG gained on Apr 4 but could be in focus as long as trade talks take the center stage.

Will Meat Producers Benefit?

Along with analysts like Mizuho's Jeremy Scott, we too believe that if prices of soybeans and corns fall, the feed cost of meat producers will decline. This could help meat producers to benefit on margins in a difficult operating environment.

Tyson Foods Inc. TSN , which is the world's largest processor and marketer of chicken, beef, and pork, may gain from this logic. Shares of TSN were up 2.3% on Apr 4. Livestock ETFs COW (up 3.3% on Apr 4) and iPath Pure Beta Livestock ETN LSTK (up more than 2.6% on Apr 4) may benefit from a likely decline in feed costs.

How Will These Country ETFs Behave?

Several country ETFs are poised to cash in on China's up to 25% tariff on U.S. agriculture. Australia is one of the likely beneficiaries as Beijing can now turn to it for wine as well as nut and fruit requirements. Beijing's tariffs on American pork will lead European Union, Brazil and Canada to export more to China now. So, these country ETFs including iShares MSCI Brazil Capped ETF EWZ , iShares MSCI Canada ETF EWC and iShares MSCI Australia ETF EWA are all under the spotlight.

What About Wine ETF?

China is on its way to becoming the world's ' second-most valuable wine market ' only after the United States. American wine exports (97% from California) to greater China in fact increased 10% in 2017. While the United States has slowly been making inroads into China's booming wine market, the tariff can hurt California's brewing industry.

The market share loss of the United States will help exporting nations like France, Spain and Italy, but is less likely to hurt the wine fund Spirited Funds/ETFMG Whiskey & Spirits ETF WSKY . This is because the fund has a global approach and the United States accounts for only 13.5% of the basket (read: Why These Sector ETFs Are Winning Picks Now ).

Want key ETF info delivered straight to your inbox?

Zacks' free Fund Newsletter will brief you on top news and analysis, as well as top-performing ETFs, each week.  Get it free >>

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report

ISHARS-BRAZIL (EWZ): ETF Research Reports

ISHARS-AUSTRAL (EWA): ETF Research Reports

ISHARS-CANADA (EWC): ETF Research Reports


ETFMG-WSKY&SPRT (WSKY): ETF Research Reports

TEUCRM-CORN FD (CORN): ETF Research Reports

Tyson Foods, Inc. (TSN): Free Stock Analysis Report

Deere & Company (DE): Free Stock Analysis Report

Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM): Free Stock Analysis Report

Bunge Limited (BG): Free Stock Analysis Report

Dow Chemical Company (The) (DWDP): Free Stock Analysis Report

IPATH-PB LIVSTK (LSTK): ETF Research Reports

IPATH-BB LVST (COW): ETF Research Reports

IPATH-PB COTTON (CTNN): ETF Research Reports

To read this article on Zacks.com click here.

Zacks Investment Research

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , ETFs
Referenced Symbols: EWZ , EWA , EWC , SOYB ,

More from Zacks.com




Equity Research

Research Brokers before you trade

Want to trade FX?