Tag Archives: Trade

U.S. pork producers don’t seem optimistic about a potential trade deal with the European Union coming together anytime soon. Nick Giordano is the Vice President of Global Government Affairs for the National Pork Producers Council.

Giordano tells Politico that he’s “very skeptical” that the two sides will even reach a mini agreement in the weeks ahead. He feels the real goal should be a comprehensive trade pact covering all sectors of agriculture. “It’s outrageous that a market of that size, with that level of income, is so closed to us,” Giordano says. “They’re stealing jobs from us because of their protectionism and that’s unacceptable.”

The VP says there will be widespread support in the U.S. agriculture community for the Trump Administration to take tough action against the EU if there are no concessions regarding a more open EU market. Meantime, U.S. cattlemen might annually sell $4 billion worth of beef to China within the next five years.

Kent Baucus, Senior Director of International Affairs with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, says the Phase One trade deal and the meat shortage in China cause by African Swine Fever should drive U.S. beef exports higher. “We haven’t even scratched the surface on the Chinese market,” he says. “There is a tremendous amount of unmet protein demand in China.

Kansas Corn is partnering with Renew Kansas to host the Kansas Corn-Fed Ethanol Seminar. Happening on March 4 at American Ag Credit, 4105 N. Ridge Rd., Wichita, this seminar will provide attendees with updates and learning opportunities covering a broad view of the ethanol industry.

 

“With nearly one-third of Kansas corn going directly into ethanol production,” said Kansas Corn Director of Industry Relations Stacy Mayo-Martinez. “It is important for those in the corn and agriculture industry to understand the market, the opportunities and the hurdles to better grasp how it affects Kansas corn prices. This is a unique learning opportunity and we are proud to partner with Renew Kansas.”

 

The seminar will explore ethanol export opportunities; barriers to increased ethanol use and connecting consumers with ethanol blends. A fuel retailer panel and an expert panel on economic impact and plant innovation will round out the seminar.

 

Kansas is a significant ethanol producing state producing about 500 million gallons of ethanol per year and represents a significant market for corn producers. About one-third of Kansas corn is used to make ethanol and DDGS feed, the co-product of ethanol production.

 

Those interested in the event can find more information and register online at https://kscorn.com/cornfedethanol/.

 

Kansas Corn represents corn farmers in Kansas, while Renew Kansas represents the state’s ethanol industry. For more information, visit kscorn.com and renewkansas.com

 

Markets continue to narrow.  Grains trade lower on a Thursday.  Commitments are down 26% from a year ago on corn.  Will we be able to move forward?  Beans were able to test $9.00.  Coronavirus continues to raise issues, and avian bird flu continues to be an issue. More spreading from hogs to cattle.  Hogs might have seen a new low.  Markets right now importing into China causing problems.

(Tampa, Fla.) – Global markets for U.S. grains are interconnected and affected by diverse drivers of demand including relationships with major grain users, ever-changing weather and trade policy.

U.S. Grains Council (USGC) members are meeting in Tampa, Fla., this week at the organization’s 17th International Marketing Conference and 60th Annual Membership Meeting to better understand how the Council’s network of global staff anticipate and respond to these factors in more than 50 countries around the world.

After a grueling year that included an ongoing trade war with China, unprecedented weather challenges and a flurry of trade deals with key customers, more than 350 attendees heard the latest developments and predictions from three experts on those topics to anticipate and plan for this year’s season: Ambassador Craig Allen, president of the U.S.-China Business Council; Eric Snodgrass, principal atmospheric scientist at Nutrien Ag Solutions; and Ken Levinson, executive director of the Washington International Trade Association.

“We want stable, long-term buyers in China,” said Ambassador Allen in his opening remarks about the ongoing and developing relationship with one of the United States’ biggest trading partners. “Nothing else is acceptable and we will work to that end.”

Snodgrass spoke to the power of Mother Nature’s long-term weather and climate issues, saying the Corn Belt is getting consistently wetter and farmers will need better tools to manage increased precipitation.

Levinson spoke to the dynamics driving agreements with major partners – China, Mexico, Canada and Japan – and the potential for new measures to gain new market access.

The morning culminated with selected USGC staff members from overseas offices reacting to how these drivers are interconnected and have impacts on trade in the markets in which they work.

Ryan LeGrand, USGC president and CEO, moderated the session of international directors including Alejandra Danielson-Castillo, director in South Asia; Tommy Hamamoto, director in Japan; Marri Tejada, director for the Western Hemisphere; and Manuel Sanchez, director for Southeast Asia.

From a tariff rate quota in Brazil to a new free trade agreement partner – Japan – and potential free trade agreement partner, Vietnam, each director spoke about positive developments in their own countries and regions in addition to how China, weather in the U.S. and trade agreement movements are impacting how they develop markets for U.S. grains, enable trade and improve lives in these places.

“Our expert country and regional directors and their staff members around the world tackle these very challenges every day to expand markets for U.S. grains,” said LeGrand. “They allow us to be successful for the corn, sorghum and barley sector producers who make up our membership.”

“It’s important for our members to hear from these experts as they will move into their Advisory Team meetings to formulate recommendations for moving trade forward in 2020,” said USGC Chairman Darren Armstrong, a farmer from North Carolina. “We appreciate the feedback and input, as well as the strategies provided by our directors scattered around the world working in our markets every day. They send back critical information to us on specific developments so the Council may remain nimble in addressing them.”

Loaded with information from both the morning’s expert speakers and the knowledge provided by the Council’s overseas directors, attendees headed into the first of three in-depth Advisory Team (A-Team) meetings, during which Council members help identify opportunities, set priorities and chart the course for the organization in the coming year.

 

In the next few days, attendees will continue A-Team meetings reviewing the Council’s Unified Export Strategy (UES) and will recognize members and USGC staff for their years of service before ending the week with a Board of Delegates meeting.

Turn around on the grains today.  Coronavirus continues to be the headline that is shaping the markets.  China has taken resources away from African Swine Fever to control Coronavirus.  Boots on the ground gives us a first hand look.  What does this mean for Phase One?  South American Weather.  How is harvest going?  Delay of planting in the U.S.

 

China is seeking more flexibility from the United States on promises made in the Phase One trade agreement. The agreement signed last month allows China and the U.S. to engage in dialog for changes “in the event that a natural disaster or other unforeseeable event” delays either country from complying with the trade deal.

Bloomberg News reports China is expected to seek consultation on that basis, as the nation grapples with the coronavirus outbreak. China may have trouble meeting the requirements of the trade agreement if the virus continues to disrupt demand. China’s Foreign Ministry Monday also claimed that “The U.S. government hasn’t provided any substantive assistance to us.”

Meanwhile, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control says its actions seek to stop the spread of the virus. The CDS warns more coronavirus cases are likely to be identified in the coming days, including more cases in the United States. It’s also likely that person-to-person spread will continue to occur.

In spite of the goodwill generated after the U.S. and Mexico approved the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, there could be more tensions between the two countries surrounding produce.

The Financial Post reported Mexico responded to a letter from the top U.S. trade negotiator, Robert Lighthizer, pledging protectionist measures on seasonal farm trade for producers in the politically important states of Florida and Georgia. Mexico said if the U.S. takes action in any way against Mexican agricultural imports, it will respond in kind.

“If the U.S. government takes any steps of this kind against Mexican agricultural exports, the Mexican government will apply similar measures to U.S. products,” said Juan Carlos Baker, Deputy Trade Minister of Mexico.

Bosco de la Vega, head of the Mexican National Farm Council said he thinks the U.S. measures would likely target the more “successful” Mexican exports like tomatoes, berries, and mangos. Those exports are worth $12 billion every year and support about 1.4 million jobs in Mexico. The council president said this potential move is about U.S. politics and Mexico’s private sector is extremely concerned. In the Jan. 9, letter, Lighthizer pledged to explore new protections for farmers in Florida and Georgia.

Coronavirus continues to have its effects on the markets.  Could we see some stimulation in the market from the world banks?  Weakness in the dollar-soon see a turn around?  Real has also been cheaper than our dollar.  Will that continue to hinder exports.  South American harvest & weather.   This is not a forever deal…the demand we have lost in the nearby will come back multiplied.  Struggles in the dairy, correction in the prices isn’t over yet.  Hog has their own struggles this week.  

 

Canada will consider the passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement next week. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters this week, ”On Monday, we will introduce a Ways and Means motion, and on Wednesday we will table legislation to ratify the deal.”

The comments were part of a press conference detailing plans for Canada’s Parliament, which returns to work next week. Trudeau says, “We are going to make sure that we are going to move forward in the right way, and that means ratifying this new NAFTA as quickly as possible, but responsibly in the House of Commons.” Canada is the last of three nations to take action on the agreement.

Mexico has already ratified the agreement, and the U.S. has one final step to ratify the agreement, being President Donald Trump’s signature. The USMCA, or CUSMA, as it’s known in Canada, is estimated to be worth an extra $2 billion annually in exports for U.S. farmers.