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Articles of Interest- Thursday, October 24, 2019

Articles of Interest- Thursday, October 24, 2019

India Raises Wheat Buying Price, Makes Exports Unviable

Reuters – 10/23/2019

India has lifted the price at which it buys locally produced new-season wheat by 85 rupees or 4.6% to support farmers, officials said on Wednesday, but the rise was the lowest in five years as New Delhi struggles to sell grain bought in 2019. The increase will widen the difference between local and overseas wheat prices and make exports from the world’s second-biggest producer of the grain unviable. The revised purchase price of 1,925 rupees per 100 kg for 2020 compares with 1,840 rupees a year ago, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters on Wednesday. The government announces minimum support prices (MSPs) for most crops yearly to set a benchmark, although state agencies usually buy only limited quantities of staples such as rice and wheat at those prices due to a lack of storage and funds.

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Neal: Only a ‘Few More’ USMCA Talks with Lighthizer Needed

Agri-Pulse – 10/23/2019

House Democrats emerged from negotiations Wednesday with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement with a newfound optimism that an agreement on the pact will soon be within reach. “We’re making progress on this,” House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal told reporters after the latest meeting with Lighthizer. “We have really narrowed our differences considerably … There were a couple of bumps in the road last week, but they seem to be, at least for the moment, smoothed out.” Neal, who leads a group of select lawmakers in a working group tasked by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to negotiate with the Trump administration on USMCA, said he believes “only a few more” negotiating sessions with Lighthizer will be needed to wrap up their work.

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China Willing to Buy $20 Billion of U.S. Farm Goods in One Year

Bloomberg – 10/24/2019

China aims to buy at least $20 billion of agricultural products in a year if it signs a partial trade deal with the U.S., and would consider boosting purchases further in future rounds of talks, people familiar with the matter said. The $20 billion would take its imports of U.S. farm goods back to around the level in 2017, before the U.S. began imposing tariffs. In the second year of a potential final deal when all punitive tariffs are removed, those purchases could rise to $40-$50 billion, said the people, who asked not to be named discussing the private talks. The people did not say when the first year would start or when China would start counting agricultural imports toward the $20 billion. The two nations are currently working on the details of a limited agreement, after talks in Washington earlier this month at which the U.S. agreed not to hike tariffs in October, and said China agreed to increase purchases and other concessions. 

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Interview: Wheat Executive Director Says South Dakota Winter Wheat Planting Almost Done

WNAX Radio – 10/23/2019

South Dakota wheat growers have seeded about 95 percent of their winter wheat so far. However, challenges remain with wet grounds many places for them to get it all wrapped up. South Dakota Wheat Commission Executive Director Reid Christopherson says what winter wheat is going to get planted is likely already in. He says it’s been a difficult year for planting and harvest with the overabundance of moisture this year that actually began in the fall of 2018. Christopherson says once the winter wheat planting is completed the amount of acres seeded will be similar to last year. Christopherson says for those yet to complete their winter wheat planting or other crop harvesting to be safe out there and watch out for each other.

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Weather Challenged Quality of 2019 Durum, Hard Red Spring Wheat Crops

Williston Herald – 10/23/2019

Historic rain significantly delayed the durum harvests in North Dakota and Montana, and has led to significant quality issues for a large portion of the crop, according to the North Dakota Wheat Commission’s annual wheat quality report. Still, buyers will find some durum that is high-quality, according to an analysis of the crop by North Dakota State University, which is commissioned annually by the Wheat Commission. Analysis of the 2019 crop shows the overall crop is smaller than 2018, and is skewed lower in overall quality. Regional production of durum is down 20 percent from 2018, at around 52 million bushels. Planted areas started out the season down by 35 percent, as compared to average, but mid-season rain helped offset some of that by boosting yields to above average in some areas. Final production, however, is likely to fall further behind current estimates, with 20 percent of the region’s crop still unharvested as of mid-October.

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Source: U.S. Wheat Associates