India Raises Import Duty on Wheat
Farms.com – 04/29/2019
India’s move to protect local farmers through a wheat duty increase shouldn’t have any effect on commodity prices, said Moe Agostino, chief commodity strategist with Farms.com. Increasing the import duty from 30 to 40 per cent is intended to force local end users to buy from national farmers, Agostino said. “By making wheat imports more expensive, they’re hoping flour mills will stop bringing in wheat from other countries and just use the national supply,” Agostino told Farms.com. “This is an isolated thing and won’t change market prices.” The increased duties could also discourage exporters from targeting the Indian wheat market. “We export virtually no wheat to India anymore mainly because their production is quite high and, (in) some years, India exports wheat,” Steve Mercer, vice-president of communications with the U.S. Wheat Associates, told Farms.com in an email. “This hike in import duties is within the Indian government’s protectionist pattern.” Any movement in market prices is incumbent on a trade deal between the U.S. and China, Agostino added.
Focus on China
World-Grain – 04/29/2019
With a massive population and growing economy, China is a hugely important player on the world’s grain and oilseeds market, notably as the world’s largest oilseeds importer. The International Grains Council (IGC) forecasts China’s total grains output for 2018-19 at 397.3 million tonnes, down from 402.4 million the year before. The figure includes 131.4 million tonnes of wheat, down from 134.3 million in 2017-18…The IGC forecasts China’s total 2018-19 grains imports at 17 million tonnes, down from 22.1 million the year before. The country is seen exporting a total of 500,000 tonnes of grain, unchanged compared with 2017-18. Forecast 2018-19 imports include 4 million tonnes of wheat, up from 3.7 million tonnes the year before. Wheat exports are forecast at an unchanged 400,000 tonnes.
Trump Administration Eyes More Aide to Farmers if Necessary
Reuters – 04/29/2019
The Trump administration is ready to provide more federal aid to farmers if required, a White House adviser said on Monday, after rolling out up to $12 billion since last year to offset agricultural losses from the trade dispute with China. “We have allocated $12 billion, some such, to farm assistance. And we stand ready to do more if necessary,” White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters. The U.S. Department of Agriculture had previously ruled out a new round of aid for 2019. As of March, more than $8 billion was paid out as part of last year’s program. On Monday, the department said it had extended the deadline to apply to May 17. A constituency that helped carry Republican President Donald Trump to victory in 2016, U.S. farmers have been among the hardest hit from his trade policies that led to tariffs with key trading partners such as China, Canada and Mexico.
N. Idaho Farmers are Waiting on the Weather
magicvalley.com – 04/28/2019
April showers may bring May flowers, but the soggy ground has also put a damper on farm plowers. “We’re a little delayed with spring planting this season — sort of like last spring,” said University of Idaho Nez Perce County Extension agent Doug Finkelnburg. “There are a lot of folks that would like to be out and doing spring work. We have a few more weeks before we start complicating the situation. Ultimately we’ll run into crop insurance deadlines (around the middle of May) and people will have to decide if they want to plant if they can’t insure it.”
Finkelnburg said the slower start to spring work affects not only planting but also spraying, fertilizing and cultivating that are being held off because the ground is too wet to get into the fields. Some of those earlier downpours have left behind puddles — and worse — in some farm ground…One of those variables is grain prices, which, so far, aren’t much more promising than a year ago. According to the U.S. Wheat Associates price report, wheat futures prices fell last week after news of expected favorable growing conditions and large harvests in some of the world’s top wheat-exporting regions, including Russia. Marketing is also complicated by the U.S. failure to rejoin the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which affects trade relations with Japan and other Pacific Rim customers.
Montana Wheat and Barley Committee Could Raise Checkoffs
The Montana Legislature has given the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee permission to double its checkoffs on wheat and barley, but no decision has been made yet on whether the committee will change the current assessment. Right now, the state checkoff is 2 cents per bushel on wheat and 3 cents per hundredweight on barley, which is the state limit, explained Collin Watters, bureau chief of the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee. House Bill 151, which was signed into law in March and goes into effect on July 1, would allow the committee to double those assessments. But to do so, the committee has to use the state’s rulemaking procedures, which require listening sessions and comment periods. Watters said the committee has not discussed raising or lowering the assessment. “The board isn’t going to raise any assessment or change any assessment at all without plenty of public comment,” he said. The Montana Wheat and Barley Committee uses state checkoff funds to pay for research, market development and educational programs.
Source: U.S. Wheat Associates