China Purchases U.S. Soft White Wheat
Capital Press- 10/04/2019
China’s first major purchase of U.S. wheat since the trade war broke out has farmers hopeful the door to more exports to that Asian nation is opening. U.S. Wheat Associates received confirmation from export companies that an unidentified buyer in China recently purchased 130,000 metric tons of soft white wheat, a market class primarily grown in the Pacific Northwest. This is the first substantial order from China since March 2018. A private purchase of 32,000 metric tons of hard red wheat and 8,000 metric tons of soft white wheat was made in the 2018-19 marketing year.
Imports of U.S. soft white, hard red spring and hard red winter wheat classes into China were trending upward but abruptly ended in March 2018 when China clamped retaliatory tariffs on U.S. wheat and other commodities. “It is a significant purchase,” said Steve Mercer, vice president of communications for U.S. Wheat, the overseas marketing arm for the industry. “Soft white is definitely a class that fills a specific need … that the Chinese industry had before. Yet to be seen is whether this is a trend or a one-off. We hope it’s a trend.”
U.S., Japanese Trade Officials Sign Deal
Capital Press- 10/07/2019
U.S. and Japanese trade officials today signed a new agricultural trade agreement they hope will go into effect before the end of the year. The deal will put U.S. farmers on the same footing as competing growers in Canada, Australia and most other Pacific Rim nations. The deal must still be approved by Japan’s parliament, said Steve Mercer, vice president of communications for U.S. Wheat Associates, the overseas marketing arm for the industry. It was introduced last week. “We believe it will be implemented before the end of the calendar year,” he said. The industry doesn’t see any remaining concerns that could halt the deal, Mercer said. The event at the White House was the official signing, he said. “It’s another positive step in progression toward the implementation of the agreement,” he said.
Trump Signs Japan Deal
The Progressive Farmer – 10/07/2019
A large contingent of agricultural lobbyists joined President Donald Trump at the White House on Monday to sign a partial trade deal with Japan. The agreement will lower or eliminate tariffs into Japan’s markets for about $7 billion in agricultural products… The trade deal puts U.S. agricultural exports to Japan largely on par with countries that joined the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CP-TPP) in 2017. American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall attended the signing and the press conference. Duvall said the agreement means lower tariffs on U.S. farm and ranch exports with the prospect of even lower tariffs to come. Trump had signed the deal Sept. 25 in New York with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The agreement is set to begin on Jan. 1, 2020, but Japan’s Diet, its bicameral legislature, still must approve the agreement before it is implemented.
Cash Market Moves
The Progressive Farmer – 10/07/2019
The 2019 spring wheat and durum planting season was stalled by late-spring snow, along with constant rains in some of the key growing areas of the Northern Plains. Fast forward to September and early October and the same can be said for the harvest that never wants to end. Keith Brandt, general manager of Plains Grain and Agronomy LLC in Enderlin, North Dakota, said in late June that spring wheat acres in his area were down 10% to 12% from what farmers had intended to plant. “There is a big range in planting dates of April 23 to June 11. Because of the cool and damp conditions, wheat planted by mid-May looks very good and has decent potential. The balance will be 10 to 15 bushels per acre (bpa) less on yield.”
100 Years of Wheat Statistics in Kansas
High Plains Journal– 10/03/2019
Wheat came to Kansas in 1839, and for the next 180 years the state would forever be known as “America’s Breadbasket” and a major supplier of the nation’s pantries. Tracking crop production statistics was in the national interest and one of the reasons why President Abraham Lincoln asked Congress to establish the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1862. The goal was to gather crop information from the farmers on the ground and compile a report that could stop speculation in the marketplace. Recently, the USDA-National Agricultural Statistics Service released the “Kansas Wheat History” report, which compiles records kept by statisticians all the way back to 1919. The report shows that in the last 30 years, wheat acres planted and harvested have seen a steady decline, whether based on weather or market factors.
Source: U.S. Wheat Associates