Governor’s Trade Leadership Award Goes to Long-Time Wheat Associate
Oregon Department of Agriculture – 11/19/2019
Before leaving Japan, Governor Kate Brown honored Mr. Wataru “Charlie” Utsunomiya at the “Friends of Oregon” Reception in Tokyo for his contributions to wheat trade between Oregon and Japan. At this gathering, it was especially fitting to honor this friend who has lived in Oregon and Japan throughout a career that has strengthened and maintained ties between Oregon and Japan around wheat…“They say Charlie has crossed the Pacific Ocean about 100 times during his work with US Wheat,” said ODA Director, Alexis Taylor. “It is an honor to recognize his dedication and success in helping to make wheat Oregon’s single largest agricultural export to Japan. We wish him well in retirement.” Charlie first came to Oregon more than 40 years ago as a customer of Oregon and U.S. wheat. He worked in grain trading management for Marubeni including chairman of Columbia Grain Inc. He spent 13 years living in the Portland metro area. After his time with Marubeni he joined US Wheat Associates. During his 12 years representing US Wheat Associates, he brought many delegations of Japanese customers to visit Oregon wheat fields and hosted groups of classes and tours to the Wheat Marketing Center in Portland.
Without a China Trade Deal, the U.S. Will Hike Tariffs
Reuters – 11/19/2019
The United States would raise tariffs on Chinese imports if no deal is reached with Beijing to end a trade war, U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday, threatening an escalation of the spat that has damaged economic growth worldwide. Speaking at a cabinet meeting at the White House, Trump said he had a good relationship with China, noting that China was “moving along.” However, he said China would have to make a deal “I like.” “If we don’t make a deal with China, I’ll just raise the tariffs even higher,” he told a room filled with senior U.S. officials. The United States and China have been locked in successive waves of tit-for-tat tariffs that have roiled financial markets and threatened to drag growth in the global economy to its lowest rate since the 2007-2008 financial crisis. Hopes were high that a partial trade deal could be signed at a summit in Santiago, Chile, that was scheduled for mid-November. The summit was canceled amid unrest in Chile and a path forward for a deal remains unclear.
A Slow Start for 2020 Wheat Crop
Successful Farming – 11/19/2019
From many a roadside in the High Plains, the 2020 winter wheat crop leaves a lot to be desired, with fields that look freshly planted rather than bright green and lush. Justin Gilpin, chief executive officer of Kansas Wheat, says cold temperatures and dry conditions are hurting the crop’s establishment. “There’s a spot in southwest Kansas, there is . . . nothing out there. It’s pretty dry,” Gilpin says. “It will be interesting to see how it overwinters without tillering.” According to the November 18 Crop Progress Report from USDA, winter wheat condition fared poorer than the previous week. Nationwide, the crop is rated at 14% very poor/poor (down 1%); 75% fair/good (down 1%) and 11% excellent (same as previous week). But in the key winter wheat producing states of Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and Colorado, conditions slid even further.
MFP Payments Coming Before Thanksgiving
The Progressive Farmer – 11/13/2019
The Trump administration announced a second tranche of 2019 Market Facilitation Program payments on Friday. According to a USDA news release, payments will begin the week before Thanksgiving. MFP for 2019 is providing $14.5 billion in direct payments to producers, meaning the second tranche will be for about $7.8 billion. Under MFP2, USDA so far has paid out $6.69 billion to 564,181 producers. USDA reports the top five states for payments are Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, and Minnesota. The 2018 MFP paid out $8.6 billion to more than 1 million farmers.
Producers of MFP-eligible commodities will now be eligible to receive 25% of the total payment expected, in addition to the 50% they have already received from the 2019 MFP.
Ag Exports to Gain from Portland’s Renewed Weekly Ocean Shipping
Capital Press – 11/19/2019
Oregon’s agricultural exporters will soon gain a more accessible link to Asian markets with the resumption of weekly ship service at the Port of Portland. Ocean carriers stopped calling on the port’s container terminal in 2015 and 2016 due to productivity slowdowns associated with a labor dispute. The end of direct weekly shipping from Terminal 6 meant that Oregon producers of straw, hay, seed and other farm goods were forced to truck containers to more distant ports along Washington’s Puget Sound. Now that South Korean ocean carrier SM Line has added Portland to the rotation of ports it serves along the Pacific Rim, agricultural exporters are expected to benefit from the more cost-effective transportation option. “It’s the most efficient way to move products out of Oregon,” said Dave Dillon, executive vice president of the Oregon Farm Bureau.
Source: U.S. Wheat Associates