Ethiopia Will Need Imported Wheat for a While Yet Despite Self-Sufficiency Plan
Wheat exporters probably shouldn’t be too concerned just yet about Ethiopia’s plan to become self-sufficient in the grain. Since taking office last year, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government has pledged to invest in irrigation and machinery and encourage more farmers to plant wheat to scrap a reliance on imports by 2022. But as one of Africa’s top wheat consumers, boosting output by about a third to reach that goal will be tough to do, according to analysts. While Ethiopia’s wheat output jumped about 70% this decade, it has failed to keep pace with rising demand, so purchases — mostly from the Black Sea region — are needed to plug the gap. Faced with severe food crises, the nation spends as much as $700 million a year on grain imports, putting a strain on foreign-exchange supplies limited by large current-account deficits and debt.
As Australian Wheat Exports Fall, Canada and US Could Gain Market Share
Gro-Intelligence – 12/09/2019
Australia’s third straight year of declining wheat production could push buyers in Asia and the Middle East to look to North America to supplement wheat shipments. Australia, which is just beginning its harvest, will produce 15.9 million tonnes of wheat, down 8% from last year, according to the latest forecast from the Australian Bureau of Economics (ABARES). The country’s persistent drought has also chopped 38% from national wheat stocks since 2016. Exports have fallen, and Australia imported wheat this year—from Canada—for the first time in a decade.
USMCA Moves Closer to Year-End Deal
Agri-Pulse – 12/09/2019
The Trump administration on Monday moved closer to getting a deal for its U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement as pressure increases from lawmakers and farm groups for a year-end ratification vote.
“I think we’re doing very well on USMCA,” President Donald Trump said Monday afternoon. “I’m hearing a lot of strides have been made over the last 24 hours.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is still reviewing a tentative deal reached on Saturday by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Jesús Seade, Mexico’s top North American negotiator, according to Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. The deal appears to have gotten a positive reception by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. Wyden said Trumka spent much of Monday briefing unions on the compromise deal, and USDA Deputy Secretary Steve Censky said Trumka “anticipates USMCA moving forward. It will be very good news for agriculture if we get this passed.”
Survey Reveals Crucial Data on Fusarium Head Blight
High Plains Journal – 12/09/2019
A national U.S. Department of Agriculture survey, published recently in Plant Disease, provides the first large-scale, systematic insight into how wheat and barley growers manage Fusarium head blight, also known as scab, and where they get information on how to control this destructive disease. FHB can reduce a farmer’s yield and affect quality, lowering the price of the grain. Also, the Fusariumfungus produces a mycotoxin called deoxynivalenol or DON. Wheat with DON levels above 2 parts per million is unacceptable for human consumption. FHB can also wreak havoc with barley crops, as maltsters have a near-zero tolerance for Fusarium.
USDA to Expand Export Opportunities in 2020
Feedstuffs – 12/09/2019
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will sponsor seven agribusiness trade missions in 2020 to grow and diversify export opportunities around the world for America’s farmers and ranchers, Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney recently announced.
“I cannot overstate the immense value trade missions provide to the U.S. agriculture industry and to our customers,” McKinney said. “Trade missions help agribusinesses – both large and small – get their foot in the door to new markets, build strong relationships with existing and potential customers, and expand their global footprint and sales of U.S. farm and food products.”
Source: U.S. Wheat Associates