Egypt GASC to Pay for Wheat Within 180 Days Instead of Immediately
Reuters – 03/25/2019
Egypt, the world’s largest wheat importer, will go back to paying its grain suppliers within 180 days instead of immediately, a government source and traders said on Monday. Egypt’s state grain buyer GASC had said in January it would start immediate on-sight payment after obtaining financing from Islamic Trade Finance Corp for its international purchasing tenders. Before that announcement, GASC had for years used a deferred payment system introduced at a time when foreign-exchange shortages plagued Egypt’s economy, pushing up wheat prices offered to the state buyer at its international tenders.
Improved Agricultural Trade Remains Top Priority, Hoeven Tells North Dakota Stakeholders
The Ripon Advance – 03/25/2019
U.S. Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) continues his efforts with the Trump administration to expand and open agricultural trade markets for North Dakota and other producers around the United States, the lawmaker told participants in a March 21 roundtable held in Bismarck, N.D. “Our farmers and ranchers are the best in the world, and when given a level playing field, can compete in any market,” said Sen. Hoeven, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies. “That’s why we’re working to secure better trade deals for our producers.” For example, the senator told roundtable attendees that during a mid-March meeting with President Donald Trump, they discussed a strategy to get the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) approved by members in both the U.S House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. “I met with President Trump at the White House to work on trade issues, which are very important for farmers and ranchers as well as our manufacturers and everyone else who exports,” Sen. Hoeven wrote in a March 21 commentary for the Grand Forks Herald. “The USMCA is extremely important to producers in North Dakota given that Canada and Mexico are our state’s two largest trading partners,” he wrote.
Trump Turns to Trade Fights with Congress, China and Europe Now That the Mueller Probe is Mostly Out of the Way
CNBC – 03/25/2019
The president won the White House in large part by pledging to crack down on foreign trade abuses and rework international agreements to boost U.S. manufacturing and protect American workers. The conclusion of Mueller’s probe — and the Justice Department’s decision not to charge the president with obstruction of justice — comes at a pivotal time in Trump’s push to follow through on a campaign priority ahead of his 2020 re-election bid. Trump will try to rework U.S. trade relationships on more than one front in the coming weeks and months. He not only aims to strike a new deal with China, but also wants Congress to ratify a revised North American trade deal.
Spring Work Delayed for E. Washington Farmers
Capital Press – 03/25/2019
Brian Cochrane is usually working in his wheat fields by mid-February. This year, he doesn’t expect to get a tractor into a field before April 1. “We can’t get in the fields yet, there are a few fields that are entirely snow-covered,” said Cochrane, a Kahlotus, Wash., dryland wheat farmer and board member of the Washington Grain Commission. “Everything is snow-covered,” said Glen Squires, CEO of the commission. “Spring work is going to be later.” Many farmers are also anxious to see what kind of winter wheat crop is waiting for them under the snow, Squires said. “Whether there’s damage, winterkill or anything like that, I think it’s too early to tell right now, for the most part,” he said. Cochrane estimates about 40% of the fields in his area are no longer snow-covered, but the ground is still too muddy for equipment. The delay could also mean a delay in harvest time, Cochrane said. If the weather heats up too early, before the wheat is mature, it could burn the crop up before flowering, he said.
Podcast: USDA Undersecretary Ted McKinney
Agri-Pulse – 03/24/2019
This week’s guest on Open Mic is USDA Under Secretary of Agriculture for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, Ted McKinney. With hundreds of thousands of travel miles already logged, the former director of Indiana agriculture knows there are thousands more to go to find successful conclusions to trade agreements for U.S. farmers and ranchers. McKinney is patiently optimistic for a successful conclusion to the trade war with China and ready to begin bi-lateral talks with Japan. McKinney offers insight to ratification of the USMCA, the urgency of ending U.S. metals tariffs, trade with Europe and the overall objective of diversifying the nation’s global customer base.