Indonesian Trade Group Visits North-Central Idaho
Capital Press – 8/31/2018
A group of millers from Indonesia, where wheat consumption has more than doubled in the past decade and a half, met recently with members of Idaho’s wheat industry as part of a tour of the Pacific Northwest. On a two-day stop in north-central Idaho, Joyce Gan, group commodity procurement general manager for Interflour Group, and Yu Fei, senior director of flour business for Interflour in Indonesia, visited Lewis Clark Terminal at the Port of Lewiston and the Pacific Northwest Farmers Cooperative grain elevator in Genesee. They also spent time on the farm of Joe Anderson of Genesee. Matt Weimar and Ivan Goh of U.S. Wheat Associates accompanied them.
Biggest Wheat Importer May Turn to Hedging After Price Spike
Bloomberg – 9/4/2018
To cope with a sudden spike in wheat prices, the world’s biggest importing nation is considering an unusual tactic: price hedging. Egypt, which relies on subsidized wheat to feed millions of people, is in the early stages of discussing a plan to hedge against price increases, according to Finance Minister Mohamed Maait. The country is paying more for imports after severe droughts in Europe and Australia ruined crops, with benchmark wheat futures in Chicago reaching a three-year high earlier this year.
Russian Says It Won’t Curb Wheat Exports
World-Grain – 9/4/2018
Following rumors last week of a desire by the Russian government to curb wheat exports in 2018-19, the Agriculture Ministry said in a statement on Sept. 3 that it does not see the need to impose an export duty on grains or to curb grain exports. The speculation had led to an increase in wheat prices last week, but Monday’s announcement sent wheat futures lower at the Chicago Board of Trade. The Agricultural Ministry held a regularly scheduled meeting on Monday in which the topic was discussed. Fueling the speculation that Russia would curb exports was this year’s smaller crop, which was the result of dry weather across much of the country.
Heitcamp, Bustos Plan Bill to Use Tariff Income for Farm Trade
The Fence Post – 9/4/2018
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., and Rep. Cherri Bustos, D-Ill. — plan to introduce legislation to use tariff income for trade promotion programs that help U.S. farmers and ranchers, including the Market Access Program and Foreign Market Development. The income apparently would come from the steel and aluminum tariffs that President Donald Trump imposed this year. In a joint news release, Heitkamp and Bustos said “the government has already collected over $3.5 billion from tariffs, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection,” while foreign countries have retaliated with tariffs on U.S .farm products that make it harder to sell U.S. products overseas.
Wheat Growers Highlight Canada Trade Complaint
Feed and Grain – 9/4/2018
Gordon Stoner, who grows wheat in Montana about a mile from the Canadian border, would like to sell his wheat to grain elevators in nearby Saskatchewan. But due to a quirk in Canadian law, the high-protein variety he raises would be automatically downgraded by government inspectors to the lowest possible category – fit for animals only – regardless of its quality. Reuters reports the label translates to a deep discount: Saskatchewan grain elevators this month were paying about 30% more for premium-graded wheat used to make breads and pasta versus feed grade wheat fed to animals.
Ag Producers Apply for Tariff-Offset Payments
The Journal Record – 9/4/2018
Oklahoma farmers and ranchers started applying Tuesday for federal payments through the Market Facilitation Program to help offset losses incurred as a result of President Donald Trump’s tariff war. Many of those ag producers are of two minds, torn between appreciation and frustration, said Larry Sanders, a professor and economist at Oklahoma State University. “They’re supportive of the current administration, which is a matter of politics, as well as the policy of free trade,” Sanders said. “But they’re finding politics and policy aren’t always the same thing.” The Market Facilitation Program, or MFP, was one of the three funding mechanisms cited with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s decision in July to distribute $12 billion from the Commodity Credit Corp., a U.S. Department of Agriculture arm founded in 1933. The CCC has authority to borrow up to $30 billion from the U.S. Treasury to stabilize, support and protect farm income and prices.
Source: U.S. Wheat Associates