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Articles of Interest- Monday, December 9, 2019

Articles of Interest- Monday, December 9, 2019

Turkey Becomes Russia’s Top Wheat Customer

The Western Producer – 12/06/2019

Turkey has overtaken Egypt as the top buyer of Russian wheat this year. Sales to Turkey have eclipsed exports to Egypt for each of the last five months, which is highly unusual, said Andrey Sizov, managing director of SovEcon, a Russian agricultural consultancy. Shipments to Turkey in July, August, September and October were between 750,000 and 1.1 million tonnes per month. That is about double what they were the same time a year ago. Sizov believes that is due in part to Russia harvesting a better quality crop than usual. Turkey is typically looking for wheat with 13 to 14 percent protein content. “Russia became a more preferred supplier this season,” he said. Sizov’s contacts in the Turkish milling industry tell him there is strong export demand for flour this year, so the Russian wheat is being milled and re-exported as flour to neighbouring countries.

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INTIL FCStone Pegs Australian Wheat Production Below Official Estimates

Reuters – 12/08/2019

Commodity brokerage INTL FCStone on Monday projected this year’s Australian wheat production to come in 5.6% lower than official estimates, as a crippling drought in the country’s east shows no signs of easing. The company forecast Australian wheat production for the 2019-20 season at 14.97 million tonnes, below the country’s latest official estimate of 15.85 million tonnes. Australia’s chief commodity forecaster last week cut its production forecast by nearly 20% for the year through June 2020 as an unrelenting drought will likely see output fall to an 11-year low. The lower-than-average production has crippled growers and exporting companies, and provided a hurdle to an economy that is already threatening to stall.

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Democrats, Trump Trade Negotiator Near Deal for Trade Pact

The Wall Street Journal – 12/08/2019

House Democrats and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer are nearing a deal for Congress to pass a modified U.S. trade agreement with Canada and Mexico, though hurdles remain, according to people familiar with the negotiations. House Democrats and Mr. Lighthizer have been meeting for months to hammer out a deal to amend the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, and have narrowed differences over key sticking points in recent days, the people said. The biggest divide is over revising the agreement on the enforcement of labor rules, a priority for Democrats.

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Argentine Farmers Worry out Interventionist Policies from New Govt

S&P Global- 12/09/2019

As Argentina awaits a new political leadership, farmers are concerned about the possibility of a change in agricultural policies leading to a higher export tax regime and non-tariff measures to curb grain exports. The market is rife with speculation about export curbs and higher taxes ahead of president-elect Alberto Fernandez taking charge on December 10, along with vice president-elect Cristina Fernandez, whose term in 2007-15 was marked by populist measures, including higher taxes on grains exports. “Argentinian farmers are worried about the policies that new authorities can apply, considering experience of the past times,” the new president of Argentinian wheat growers association Argentrigo, Miguel Cane, said. Higher taxes on grains will reduce profitability and reduce domestic production in future with the possibility of farmers shifting acreage to other low-investment crops.

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Vietnam Considers Tariff Cuts on American Agriculture Products

Reuters – 12/09/2019

Vietnam is considering cutting tariffs on several American products, the Ministry of Finance said in a statement on Monday, after U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross urged Vietnam to reduce its trade surplus during a visit to Hanoi last month. Tariffs on chicken and processed chicken meat, almonds, grapes, wheat, pork, and potatoes are all earmarked for reductions, in order re-balance bilateral trade, the ministry said in a statement on its website. Vietnam has emerged as one of the largest beneficiaries of the trade spat between Washington and Beijing but it is concerned that it could be U.S. President Donald Trump’s next target. Vietnam’s trade surplus with the United States hit $38.4 billion in the first 10 months of 2019, up 33.66% from a year ago, customs data showed.

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Source: U.S. Wheat Associates