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Articles of Interest- Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Articles of Interest- Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Focus on Philippines

World-Grain – 11/18/2019

The Philippines produces no wheat, but wheat flour is increasing in importance in the diet of its people with growing affluence, making the country a major importer, particularly from the United States. Rice remains the main staple of its people’s diet. With a large pork producing sector, the Philippines is also the biggest market for U.S. soymeal, as well as having a large feed producing sector of its own. In its September Grain Market Report, the International Grains Council (IGC) forecast the total grains production of the Philippines in 2019-20 at 8.3 million tonnes, a figure unchanged from the previous month, up from 7.7 million in 2018-19. All of it is maize…“With no commercial production of wheat or ‘small grains’ in the Philippines, the country is a major importer of milling quality wheat and the United States is its largest supplier,” the USDA attaché said in an annual report on the grains sector. “Rising incomes and a rapidly growing population have resulted in changing diets toward more wheat and protein. “Rice remains the main staple, however, and its consumption will in fact increase through 2019-20 when factoring in the considerable losses from post-harvest handling and natural calamities.

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EU Wheat Firm as Algeria Tender Adds Export Demand

Reuters – 11/18/2019

Euronext wheat futures edged higher on Monday as a tender announced by Algeria, the top buyer of French wheat, was set to add to recent run of export demand for western European origins.
A bounce in Chicago futures and a rise in Russian prices also helped underpin Euronext, which nonetheless held in its recent trading range. Benchmark December milling wheat on the Paris-based Euronext exchange settled up 0.75 euro, or 0.4%, at 178.00 euros a tonne. Algeria issued an import tender to buy milling wheat for shipment in January, except for South American origins for which shipment was sought in December, traders said. The tender deadline is on Wednesday. Fellow grain importer Tunisia also issued a tender to buy soft wheat, durum and feed barley, with a Tuesday deadline.

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Looming CN Strike Adds Woes for Already Battered Western Farmers

Financial Post– 11/18/2019

Canadian National workers are poised to walk off the job during a critical shipping period for Western farmers, adding a new threat to wheat and oilseed sales already battered by trade tensions and difficult harvest conditions. About 3,200 CN conductors, train and yard personnel could stop work at 12:01 a.m. ET Tuesday if the company and union are unable to bridge an impasse on items ranging from pharmaceutical benefits to time-off provisions. The Teamsters union gave Canadian National Railway notice Friday of its intent to strike after contract negotiations stalled.. Wheat and canola, Canada’s two largest commodity exports, are typically harvested in September and October and transported via rail to shipping ports in Vancouver and Prince Rupert. There, they are transferred onto large vessels and shipped to key export markets including China, Japan and Indonesia.

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US, China Could Sign ‘Pase One’ Trade Deal Before Christmas, Pimco Predicts

CNBC – 11/18/2019

A “phase one” trade deal between the U.S. and China could be finalized and signed before Christmas this year, according to an executive from bond investment giant Pimco. Optimism that such an agreement could be reached between the two countries faded in recent days following reports that Washington and Beijing remained far apart on several issues. A Chinese government source told CNBC’s Eunice Yoon on Monday that China is troubled after U.S. President Donald Trump said he hasn’t agreed to roll back tariffs…“There are obviously issues remaining about agricultural purchase targets, forced technology (transfer) and broader enforcement issues. But I think the view would be to try to resolve something … by the beginning of December and sign it before Christmas,” he told CNBC’s Geoff Cutmore at the East Tech West conference in the Nansha district of Guangzhou city, China.

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Study: Ag Export Challenges Ahead

AgWeek – 11/18/2019

Exports are increasingly important to U.S. agriculture, but foreign competitors are increasingly good at growing and selling crops. The combination poses challenges to U.S. producers in the decade ahead, a new government report says. “The United States has a long history of efficiently producing grains, oilseeds, cotton, and numerous other crops, which has given it a prominent role in international commodity markets. That role is now diminishing as the United States faces increased export competition from other suppliers,” according to the study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service, or ERS. It also projects that net returns to wheat producers will rise through 2023-2034, then decline for three years before increasing in 2027-2028.

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Source: U.S. Wheat Associates