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Articles of Interest- Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Articles of Interest- Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Ukraine Traders Seek Higher Wheat Export Cap

Reuters – 09/18/2019

Grain traders in Ukraine have asked the government to increase the volume of wheat allowed for exports in the 2019/20 July-June season to 20 million tonnes from the 19 million proposed by the government, a source familiar with the negotiations said. “They also suggest not specifying volumes of milling and feed wheat in the memorandum, indicating only the total volume of wheat available for export,” the source said. The government and traders sign an export memorandum each year to determine how much wheat is expected to be exported. In the document, traders promise not to exceed the agreed export volumes while the government promises to keep export rules unchanged.
Ukraine harvested around 27 million tonnes of wheat in 2018. New Minister of Economy, Trade and Agriculture Tymofiy Mylovanov told Reuters last week that the annual wheat export memorandum with traders would be signed soon and there were no disagreements with traders.

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Trump Moves Ahead with U.S.- Japan Trade Pact That Eases Some Tariffs

The Wall Street Journal – 09/16/2019

President Trump notified Congress on Monday that the U.S. and Japan were prepared to enter a limited agreement that would lower some tariffs and set terms of digital trade. Mr. Trump and his counterpart in Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, had previously announced in August at a Group of 7 Summit in France that they had reached an agreement in principle to lower agricultural tariffs and industrial tariffs. The two sides had earlier said that they expected to sign the deal at the United Nations General Assembly in New York this month. By sending formal notification to Congress, Mr. Trump can now move forward with signing that agreement. The congressional letter didn’t spell out the terms of the deal.

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Oregon Farm Exports Hit by Trade Headwinds

Capital Press- 09/17/2019

Recent trade disruptions have not only reduced exports of Oregon agricultural products but could stymie future growth opportunities, according to state officials and industry leaders. While the ongoing trade dispute with China has taken a toll on Oregon farm exports, uncertainty about trade deals with other key partners may also result in lost sales, experts said during a Sept. 16 hearing before the Oregon House Agriculture and Land Use Committee. “Really, to have a strong Oregon economy, we need to have a strong ag economy. To have a strong ag economy, we need to have strong export markets,” said Alexis Taylor, director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture. About 40% of Oregon’s farm output is exported, compared to 20% for the U.S. as a whole, and 13% of the state’s gross domestic product is tied to agriculture, she said.

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Trade War Hurting Montana Farmers, Tester Says on Senate Floor

Billings Gazette – 09/18/2019

Montana farmers are on the losing end of President Donald Trump’s trade policies, U.S. Sen. Jon Tester said Tuesday while calling on lawmakers to rein in the president. Speaking on the Senate floor Tuesday morning, Tester, a Democrat, said low commodity prices stemming from Trump tariffs and trade wars were putting farmers out of business. He said it was time lawmakers reclaimed authority on trade matters. “We need to hold the administration, the executive branch — whether there is a Democrat in the White House, a Republican in the White House — accountable on these issues that revolve around trade,” Tester said. “We’ve given away our power on trade. It is our job to deal with issues on trade. I am talking Congress’ job.” Tester said the current price for ordinary hard red winter wheat was $3.50 a bushel, about what farmers were getting was in 1978. Tester farms near Big Sandy.

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Texas: Wheat Acres Expected to Go Down, Production Up

The Eagle – 09/17/2019

Texas wheat acres are being prepared and planted, and despite fewer acres, projections are for a high-yield 2020. U.S. Department of Agriculture planting projections suggest producers will plant 1% less wheat than last year nationally. Last year, around 4.5 million acres of wheat were planted in Texas. But the USDA expects acres to produce significantly higher yields compared to 2019. Hard red winter wheat, which is the class most Texas acres are planted with, is expected to produce almost 27% more wheat than last year in the U.S.  Calvin Trostle, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service agronomist, Lubbock, said wheat research and breeding programs have produced varieties that perform significantly better when it comes to yields and drought, disease and pest tolerance.
“Wheat varieties are better than ever,” he said. “Wheat breeders have been very successful. Nothing planted 20 years ago would be picked to plant today.” Variety performance is one thing Trostle attributes to the high U.S. stocks of grain wheat. Early stocks were at 462 million bushels, which is double historic averages.

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Source: U.S. Wheat Associates