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Articles of Interest- Thursday, August 15, 2019

Articles of Interest- Thursday, August 15, 2019

Indonesia and China- Top Canadian Wheat Customers

CJWW – 08/13/2019

Canadian wheat exports were 18.4 million metric tonnes in the 2018-19 crop year, which ended on July 31st. That was approximately two million metric tonnes more, or 12 percent higher, than the previous year. Indonesia and China were largely responsible for the higher total as each country purchased more than two million metric tonnes, based on statistics to the end of June. There were a few countries that bought less Canadian wheat in 2018-19 including Mexico, Ecuador, Japan and the United States. The Americans only purchased two-thirds of the total from the previous year.
Canadian durum wheat exports were 4.52 million metric tonnes, or 13 percent higher than the previous crop year.

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Russia’s VTB Expands Grain Export Business with Acquisition of Trader

Reuters – 08/15/2019

Russian state-controlled bank VTB said on Thursday that it had completed its purchase of a 70% stake in local grain trader Mirogroup, expanding the lender’s diversification into the grain export business. Russia is the world’s largest wheat exporter and the expansion of VTB, the country’s second-largest lender, in grain export infrastructure in recent months has been seen by some traders as a sign of the Russian government tightening the grip over the sector. “The acquisition of Mirogroup is an important step in the implementation of VTB’s grain market strategy,” VTB First Deputy Chief Executive Yuri Soloviev said in a statement. “By creating a trading and logistics infrastructure, the Bank will be able to sell grain of good quality on global markets directly to end consumers,” he added. VTB has said that it sees the possibility of working with the government to expand Russia’s grain export potential.

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In the Ongoing Trade War, China Announces it Won’t Buy U.S. Ag Products-Just as American Farmers Prepare Their Harvest

Inlander – 08/15/2019

A trade war between the United States and China that was initially sparked over intellectual property rights has reached a fever pitch, with American farmers caught in the crossfire as bargaining chips.
Since 2018, the U.S. and China have had a back-and-forth trade dispute, with the U.S. raising tariffs on billions of dollars of Chinese imports and China responding in kind. In the latest move, the Trump administration announced plans to slap 10 percent higher tariffs on most remaining Chinese imports (about $300 billion worth) previously unaffected in the trade war starting Sept. 1. China’s Aug. 5 response was swift: It won’t be buying any U.S. farm products. Period. U.S. farmers exported $19.5 billion of products to China in 2017, but that plummeted to $9.5 billion in 2018 with the beginning of the trade war, and now could drop to nothing, prompting American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall to call China’s recent announcement a “body blow” to the industry. “China’s announcement that it will not buy any agricultural products from the United States is a body blow to thousands of farmers and ranchers who are already struggling to get by,” Duvall says in a news release. “In the last 18 months alone, farm and ranch families have dealt with plunging commodity prices, awful weather and tariffs higher than we have seen in decades.”

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Idaho Wheat Farmers Report Harvest is Late but About Average

Idaho State Journal – 08/15/2019

Wheat farmers throughout the state are reporting average yields and good quality, though they’re harvesting about two weeks behind schedule, according to industry sources.  In general, University of Idaho Extension cereals experts say disease pressure was light throughout the state’s southern and eastern growing areas, but there were some isolated cases of severe losses caused by rot and frost damage.  For the week ending Aug. 17, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service reported 36 percent of Idaho’s winter wheat had been harvested, compared with a five-year average for the week of 70 percent. “We’re running way behind schedule,” Idaho Wheat Commission Executive Director Blaine Jacobson said. “We had a lot of late-spring moisture, and it took a long time to warm up. That put the crop behind.” Jacobson said harvesting late elevates the risk of heavy rainfall arriving and contributing to sprout damage of kernels, but the harvest weather has cooperated thus far, and big storms aren’t in the forecast. “Overall, I think it’s a decent harvest year. We’re running pretty close to average — good quality and good yields,” Jacobson said. “Last year was an all-time record year, so we’re off from last year but pretty close to the five-year average.”

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Montana Ag Producers on Par with Rest of Nation

Belgrade News – 08/15/2019

Spring wheat production in Montana is forecast at 85.00 million bushels, up 6 percent from the July 1 forecast but down 11 percent from the 95.88 million bushels produced last year, the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service reported. Estimated acreage for harvest, at 2.50 million acres, is down 320,000 acres from the 2.82 million acres harvested in 2018. As of August 1, the average yield is forecast at 34.0 bushels per acre, 2.0 bushels per acre above the July 1 forecast and unchanged from last year’s final yield. Across the U.S., spring wheat production for grain is forecast at 597 million bushels, down 1 percent from the previous forecast and down 4 percent from 2018. Based on August 1 conditions, yields are expected to average 49.2 bushels per harvested acre, up 2.0 bushels from the previous forecast, and up 0.9 bushel from 2018. Area harvested for grain is forecast at 12.1 million acres, unchanged from the previous forecast, but down 6 percent from 2018.

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Source: U.S. Wheat Associates