China could buy less US farm products if US issues harsh response from Hong Kong: sources

BEIJING / SINGAPORE (Reuters) – China could cut agricultural imports from the United States if Washington reacts severely to pressure from Beijing to impose national security laws on Hong Kong, three sources said.

FILE PHOTO: Customs officials inspect a cargo of sorghum from the United States on a freighter at the port of Nantong, Jiangsu province, China February 11, 2020. China Daily via REUTERS / File Photo

China has pushed forward national security legislation for Hong Kong, raising fears for the future of the financial center.

US President Donald Trump has pledged a firm response and will hold a press conference on China later on Friday.

Sources have said that if Trump announces tough sanctions on Beijing, it could derail the trade deal the two countries have been working on for nearly two years, as any deterioration in relations could deter importers from buying U.S. agricultural products. .

If the US countermeasures are really tough, China will likely cut back on its purchases of US goods, a source familiar with the government’s plan said.

If the measures are soft, trade might not be affected, the source added.

As part of its initial Phase 1 trade deal in January, China pledged to purchase an additional $ 32 billion in U.S. agricultural products over two years, above a baseline based on the numbers. from 2017.

Soybeans were the main U.S. agricultural commodity shipped to China in 2017, with shipments worth $ 12 billion, and traders said they expected China to step up purchases of U.S. cargoes from the United States. oilseeds.

“Commercial buyers are still learning about the new American (soybean) crop and preparing to import American beans,” a source from a major trading house said.

“But that could change due to possible political setbacks … Commercial buyers are very nervous right now,” the source said.

China has already bought US soybeans and corn in several rounds of purchases this year, but the typical peak period for Chinese purchases of US crops comes after the fall harvest. These purchases can now be questioned.

“Tensions between the United States and China mean that private companies are less inclined to buy American products,” said Darin Friedrichs, senior commodities analyst for Asia at INTL broker FCStone.

“US soybeans should not only be price competitive, it should be price competitive given the great US-China political risk,” Friedrichs said.

Crushing margins for U.S. shipments after September are increasingly economical for crushers compared to competing supplier from Brazil as the U.S. harvest approaches, traders said.

Whether China will continue to buy US beans “will likely depend on the US response to Hong Kong,” a state-owned trader said.

Report by Hallie Gu in Beijing and Keith Zhai in Singapore

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See the interior of Laura Dunne’s fabulous farmhouse in County Kildare

Online influencers have seen a refreshing turnover in the form of relatively unknown women sharing their homes to help inspire and guide others to build and decorate their homes.

The ladies, mostly made up of mothers, teachers, nurses or businesswomen, are starting to fill the pages of home decor magazines and even give bloggers a run for their money # publicity.

Mother of two, Laura Dunne shares her home which resides on a plow farm in County Kildare via the aptly named Instagram account @ farm.houseliving. Laura built the house, along with her farmer husband Norman, over a five-year period from 2013 to 2018.

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Unlike most families who race against the clock to build their homes in a year or less, Laura says she and Norman took their time on purpose and completed most of the process themselves as and when they could.

Laura told RSVP Live: “We started building in 2013 and moved in early 2018. It was a very slow build, we did it bit by bit, when we had the money to do some things and Norman did as much himself as he could, especially all the woodwork, first and second fix ”.

Throughout construction, the couple lived in a cottage near the site of what would one day be their forever home. However, the pressure to move into her dream home started to mount when their second child arrived in 2016.

Now, two years later, the house has become a house in its own right, although as is often the case with new construction, the to-do list is endless.

“It’s still progressing slowly as we try to do a lot of things ourselves.

“I did a lot of painting and love it but life picks up and you start and stop so it takes a little bit longer especially when you take care of painting a staircase I really thought it would be simple but I should have known.

“It saved us a tremendous amount of money by doing this work ourselves, though, and that would be one of my money-saving tips: if you can do it yourself, do it. You don’t have to spend a fortune to have something beautiful with time and research and a little self-confidence, I would ”.

The luxury of taking your time during construction means you have the space to research every decision. A perk that Laura’s husband used when selecting all internal features, which can often save you money in the short and long term.

“My husband took care of most of the construction, he did a lot of research on different types of insulation, airtightness, underfloor heating, air-water systems, recovery heat and triple glazed windows. A lot of time was spent on it and this is probably where we spent the most money because it would save us more money in the long run.

Check out the interior of Laura’s gorgeous home in our gallery below

“The insulation we used was Kingspan eco-friendly beads which were pumped into the house, we used cellulose insulation in our roof as it was a great eco-friendly choice to insulate your home and was sourced from an Athboy company. The heat to be recovered came from Pro Air, an Irish company that manufactures its own units in Ireland to help ventilate and keep the air cool in the house because it is airtight.

“We opted for the air-to-water system for our underfloor heating and hot water from a company called Joule which is also another Irish company and our triple glazed windows were from Grady Joinery.”

It is very important to splurge on your insulation and heating systems, Laura advises, as these are not features that can be easily upgraded in the future. Much like the kitchen, however, the couple have saved up on a laminate counter that they plan to someday replace with granite.

“But for now, we have other more important things to do.”

The country-style home has a wonderful sense of clam, thanks to Laura’s love for neutral tones and earthy tones. Their cuisine, in particular, is a magnificent balance of glamor, with a rustic and country touch.

“I believe you don’t have to spend a small fortune to make something look amazing. I learned so much through Instagram and Pinterest about how to do things and change them, that’s where I got the idea for wainscoting in our kitchen. But you can’t beat a new coat of paint, fake plants, artwork and a new carpet depending on the room.

“The plan for now is to continue as we are, to do it bit by bit. With the weather so good, we make the garden and I paint our stairs, hoping to be able to go out and look for carpet soon. The next big job then is the painting of the exterior, which I always try to decide on the colors ”.

You can follow Laura’s progress on Instagram @ farm.houseliving

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Slonska Chalpa is not your typical farm house

Fashion’s latest project: lina, Ślonska Chałpa, takes reorientation to the next level. The Polish architecture studio was commissioned to reconstruct a cluster of existing farm buildings from the 1970s into a single-family house reminiscent of its past life.

The result is a modern building that still evokes the feeling of a barn through its simple form and primary materials of concrete and brick.

The original barn was falling into disrepair, but the architects managed to preserve the concrete structure of the building, as well as some brick and steel elements. Due to the modularity of the other structures of the property, they could be rebuilt and rearranged freely. The cube-shaped house adjacent to the barn, for example, was painted gray and turned into a guesthouse nearby.

The main living space is still simple and recalls the opening of a traditional barn. Its double height also exposes part of the structure of the original barn in a grandiose way.

Large, irregular windows are scattered throughout the space, adding a touch of character and letting as much natural light inside as possible.

Above the kitchen is a balcony which overlooks the living room. New wood and granite throughout the space add a contemporary touch, while uneven bricks and raw concrete with visible wear allude to the building’s past life.

Photos by Patryk Lewiński.

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