Algeria Plans Sharp Cut in Wheat Purchases to Curb Import Bill
Reuters – 11/21/2019
Algeria is targeting a sharp reduction to its wheat imports as it tries to rein in its costly subsidized bread programme in the face of popular protests against the ruling elite. The North African country has decided to cap soft wheat imports at 4 million tonnes a year, down from 6.2 million tonnes, the government said in a statement late on Wednesday. The move is designed to “preserve foreign currency and reduce Algerian imports of cereals, especially soft wheat”, it said. The import ceiling reflected a government estimate of the actual needs of the domestic market for soft wheat at 4 million tonnes.
Asia Sticks with Argentina for Q1 Wheat Supply as Australian Output Shrinks
Argentina is set to dominate Asia’s grain market for a second consecutive year in 2020, with trading companies already buying significant volumes anticipating first-quarter demand in the region as drought curbs output in traditional export powerhouse Australia, trade sources said. Wheat exports from the South American nation to key importers like Indonesia, the world’s second-largest wheat buyer, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Vietnam have jumped to record levels in the course of the past 12 months, boosted by bumper harvests. With shipments accounting for more than 30% of the global trade, Asia is the world’s biggest wheat consumer and importer making its purchasing patterns must-read trends for the industry.
U.S. Ag and Food Groups Urge Congress to Support Japan Trade Agreement
World-Grain – 11/21/2019
More than 30 U.S. food and agriculture groups submitted a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee urging support for the swift implementation of a Phase One U.S.- Japan Trade Agreement that was negotiated earlier this year. The letter emphasizes that implementation of the Phase One U.S.- Japan Trade Agreement stands to benefit farmers, ranchers, and workers in the food and agriculture community. According to the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), Japan is the United States’ fourth‐largest agricultural export market. The U.S. ag and food groups in support of Phase One are pleased the playing field is being leveled against their competitors benefiting from tariff reductions under the Comprehensive and Progressive for Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (CPTPP). Under the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement, over 90% of U.S. food and agricultural imports into Japan will either be duty free or receive preferential tariff access once the agreement is implemented, according to the Office of the USTR.
WheatLife – 11/21/2019
In “normal” years, by mid-October, most of Eastern Washington’s wheat has been harvested, and growers are wrapping up winter wheat seeding. Unfortunately, this year is anything but normal. As October rolled around, there were reports of thousands of acres of spring wheat and chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans or garbs) still to be harvested across Eastern Washington, especially in the Palouse region. The culprit is moisture. Thanks to a cooler summer and regular rain showers that began in August and extended through October—not to mention an early October snow storm that set snowfall records at the Spokane, Wash., airport—the opportunities for wheat, especially spring wheat, and garbanzo beans (garbs) to reach the required level of dryness to be harvested were scattered and unpredictable.
Prarie Grains to Return in December
AgWeek – 11/18/2019
Winter arrived unusually early this year in northeast North Dakota and northwest Minnesota. Now, the annual Prairie Grains Conference — considered by some to be the unofficial start of the winter farm meeting season in the area — will return to the Alerus Center in Grand Forks on Dec.11-12. “Come for the knowledge; there will be a lot of expertise available. And come for the networking, which is especially important this year (which was ravaged by terrible harvest weather),” said Charlie Vogel, executive director of the Minnesota Association of Wheat Growers, one of seven organizations partnering in the conference. About 750 to 900 people typically attend the annual event, in which the North Dakota Barley Council, Minnesota Barley Council, Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, Northland Community and Technical College, Minnesota Farm Bureau, and North Dakota Grain Growers Association also are involved.
Source: U.S. Wheat Associates