Vietnam Wheat Imports Revised Downward
World-Grain – 08/02/2019
Wheat imports are forecast to fall sharply in Vietnam in 2019-20 due to reduced use of feed wheat, according to an Aug. 1 Global Agricultural Information Network report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The USDA revised Vietnam’s wheat imports downward from 4.3 million tonnes to 3.5 million, which is equal to last year’s import total. “For both 2018-19 and 2019-20, (USDA) estimates stagnant wheat consumption on both the uncompetitive price of feed wheat and the flat use of milling wheat,” the USDA said. “The latter is due to Vietnam’s Plant Protection Department’s ongoing quarantine pest inspections.” The USDA noted that from the second half of 2016 through August 2018, feed wheat prices were running lower or at nearly the same level as corn prices. However, wheat prices have been diverting higher since then, thereby resulting in reduced feed wheat consumption. In 2018-19, Russia became Vietnam’s leading supplier of wheat — 1.7 million tonnes and 50% of the market share — as imports from Australia fell significantly, the USDA said.
EU Wheat Hovers Near Three-Week Low as Harvest Progresses
Reuters – 08/05/2019
European wheat futures were hovering just above a three-week low on Friday, with the harvest winding down in parts of France and Germany and expected to gather pace in Britain over the next few days…Harvesting in south and central Germany is coming to an end and is more than 80% finished nationally. However, in north Germany, the region that produces most of the country’s exports, about 50% of wheat has yet to be gathered. “The weekend weather is forecast to be drier, which hopefully will enable the rest of the north to be finished,” one German trader said. “Temperatures are still pretty high, so wheat should dry out quickly.” “A major worry is that export prices being offered from the Baltic states, which are also facing a harvest recovery, are so low that Germany is not getting a look in. There is talk that several hundred thousand tonnes of new-crop Baltic wheat has already traded to various destinations.” High-quality 12.5% protein new-crop wheat from Lithuania, now established as a leading Baltic exporter, was offered for sale at about 4 euros below the Paris December contract FOB for September/December delivery to the port of Klaipeda.
Interview: Building Ag Trade with Cuba is a Long Road
Successful Farming – 08/01/2019
Paul Johnson has a passion for Cuba. Not only has he lived there, but also he is focused on building trade between the U.S. and Cuba, despite an embargo and limits on agricultural trade. Johnson is the chair of the United States Agriculture Coalition for Cuba, an organization with more than 100 members trying to promote two-way agricultural trade. He also visits Cuba several times a year and has taken business and political missions there to improve trade relations and investment between the U.S. and Cuba, a country of 11 million..we’’re still exporting some, but the numbers are smaller. We’re at about $215 million dollars in exports from the U.S. to Cuba. It’s a $2 billion market, meaning Cuba imports $2 billion worth of food annually from other countries. So our share is 10%. It’s been that way last year for the 2018 figures, and I expect it to be pretty similar in 2019.
Japan, U.S. Target Broad Bilateral Trade Deal by September
Reuters – 08/03/2019
Japan and the United States have agreed to target a broad deal on bilateral trade by September, seeking to bridge differences of opinion over tariffs on beef and the automobile sector, the Nikkei business daily reported on Sunday. As part of a drive to rectify what he claims are unfair global trade imbalances, U.S. President Donald Trump has been urging Tokyo to accelerate trade talks that would open up Japan’s politically sensitive agriculture sector, as well as curbing Japan’s U.S.-bound auto exports.The agreement to target a deal by September was reached during a meeting between Japanese Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in Washington D.C., the Nikkei said, citing unidentified negotiating sources. The paper said both sides hope to have a broad trade deal in place by the time Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meets U.S. President Donald Trump on the sidelines of United Nations’ general assembly scheduled for later in September in New York.
China Hits Back at Trump by Weakening Yuan, Halting Crop Imports
Bloomberg – 08/05/2019
China responded to Donald Trump’s tariff threat with another escalation of the trade war on Monday, letting the yuan tumble to the weakest level in more than a decade and asking state-owned companies to suspend importsof U.S. agricultural products. The moves are likely to further antagonize Trump, who has criticized Beijing for managing its currency unfairly and failing to keep promises to buy more U.S. crops…The biggest damage from the trade war is the hit to business activity and confidence that comes from increased uncertainty, rather than the tariffs themselves, according to Wang Tao, China economist at UBS Group AG. For that reason, the weaker yuan may do little to offset the blow, she said. China’s crop imports from the U.S. are another weapon at Beijing’s disposal. The country’s state-run agricultural firms have now stopped buying American farm goods, and are waiting to see how trade talks progress, people familiar with the situation said, declining to be identified as they’re not authorized to speak to the media.
Source: U.S. Wheat Associates