Articles of Interest- Monday, April 15, 2019
April 15, 2019
Egypt Accepts French Wheat Cargo After Re-Testing
Reuters – 04/13/2019
A French wheat cargo Egypt had rejected by Egypt due to high levels of the grain fungus ergot has been re-tested and found to have acceptable levels, a ministry document showed and an Egyptian official said. The cargo at the Red Sea port of Safaga will be offloaded and distributed to mills after the test showed a 0.01 percent ergot level, Othman Mohammad Younes, general manager of the Safaga silo, told Reuters. A ministry of agriculture document, obtained by Reuters, also showed a test result of 0.01 percent. On Tuesday, sources told Reuters that the cargo of 63,000 tonnes of French wheat had been rejected and negotiations were underway to resolve the issue.At the time, one source said a 0.1 percent ergot level had been found and that the acceptable level was 0.05.
Europe May be Playing Spoiler to the Elusive US-China Trade Deal
CNBC – 04/15/2019
Washington is announcing that has largerly agreed on an enforcement mechanism with Beijing to monitor bilateral trade while China continues to accumulate soaring surpluses on its goods sales to the U.S. China’s customs records show that the country’s surplus with the U.S. rose 40 percent in March from the previous month to stand at $62.66 billion for the first quarter of this year…China has now become the EU’s second-largest trade partner, closely behind the United States. Beijing’s share of EU trade has tripled since 2000 to 15.4 percent, and is now only slightly below the U.S. share of 17.1 percent. The big difference is that last year the EU ran a 184 billion euro trade deficit with China, while recording a 140 billion euro trade surplus with the U.S.
US and Japan to Begin Trade Talks Monday
Agri-Pulse – 04/12/2019
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Japanese Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi are scheduled to begin two days of talks on a free trade agreement in Washington Monday, U.S. government officials tell Agri-Pulse. The U.S. agricultural sector has been demanding a trade deal with Japan ever since President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership in 2017. That Pacific Rim pact, now with 11 nations, took force in December and Japan has already dropped its tariffs on beef, pork, wheat and other commodities to the benefit of U.S. competitors like Canada and Australia. The U.S. exported $13 billion worth of ag commodities to Japan last year, according to USDA data, making it the fourth largest foreign market for U.S. farm goods.
Mexico, U.S. to Discuss NAFTA Replacement, Border Delays
Reuters – 04/12/2019
Mexican government and business leaders meet with their U.S. counterparts for a second straight day on Friday, seeking to hasten ratification of a trade deal, resolve border delays that are hurting exporters, and discuss metals tariffs. The talks coincide with renewed tensions over trade and the border after two years of uncertainty sparked by President Donald Trump’s demand to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Mexican Economy Minister Graciela Marquez are scheduled to meet on the sidelines of the so-called U.S.-Mexico CEO Dialogue in the Mexican city of Merida in the Yucatan peninsula. Their meeting will center on ratification of the deal agreed to replace NAFTA, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), as well as a dispute over tomato trade and the steel and aluminum tariffs the Trump administration imposed on Mexico nearly a year ago under the “Section 232,” Marquez told Reuters.
2017 Census of Agriculture Gives a Big-Picture Look at U.S. Ag
AgWeek – 04/12/2019
If you’re involved in U.S. production agriculture, you won’t be surprised that U.S. farms are becoming bigger and fewer and that the overwhelming majority of U.S. farms and ranches are family owned. Nor is it surprising that a majority of U.S. farms aren’t making money, or at least not in 2017. But you may not have expected that farmers and ranchers on average continue to get older. All this and much more — “6.4 million new pieces of information” — was released Thursday, April 11, in the 2017 Census of Agriculture. The Census, conducted every five years by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is the best, most comprehensive source of information about U.S. agriculture. The newly released Census was conducted in 2017 and reflects conditions then. Since it was conducted, farmers and ranchers’ responses have been analyzed and compiled in the report released Thursday. “We can all use the Census to tell the tremendous story of U.S. agriculture and how it is changing,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said in a written statement.
Source: U.S. Wheat Associates