Trump’s South American Tariff Threat Looms Over New Brazil Ties
Agri-Pulse – 12/02/2019
President Donald Trump announced Monday the U.S. will be restoring tariffs on Brazilian and Argentine steel and aluminum, potentially disrupting the recently improving U.S. trade relationships with Brazil. Trump, who said he was reacting to Brazilian and Argentine efforts to devalue their currencies and the alleged impact on U.S. farmers, promised in a tweet that “effective immediately” he would “restore the Tariffs on all Steel & Aluminum that is shipped into the U.S. from those countries.” This comes about two months after Brazilian Foreign Affairs Minister Ernesto Araujo visited the U.S. to begin the process of a potential free trade agreement with the U.S…Just last month Brazil announced it was preparing to implement a tariff rate quota to allow an increase in duty-free wheat imports from countries outside the Mercosur trade agreement (Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay). The 750,000-metric-ton TRQ is expected to benefit mostly U.S. and Canadian wheat farmers, giving them much larger and dependable access to Brazil, the fourth largest wheat importing country in the world. “Brazil is a quality-focused wheat market and its flour millers recognize that U.S. wheat can help them better meet their customers’ needs,” U.S. Wheat Associates President Vince Peterson said recently.
India’s Wettest Monsoon in 25 Years Could Lift 2020 Wheat Output Record
Reuters – 11/29/2019
India’s wheat production could jump to a second consecutive annual record in 2020 as the wettest monsoon in 25 years is set to help farmers in expanding the area under the winter-sown crop while also boosting yields, industry officials told Reuters. But that higher production would add to India’s already swelling inventories, potentially forcing the world’s second-biggest wheat producer to ramp up procurement of the grain from farmers and provide incentives for overseas sales to support local prices. “The area under wheat and yields would rise due to good rainfall. We can certainly produce more than last year’s record production,” said Gyanendra Singh, director at the state-run Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research.
Australia’s 2019-20 Wheat Production Estimate Cut to 15.9 Mil MT
S&P Global – 12/03/2019
Australia’s agriculture department cut its forecast Tuesday for wheat production in 2019-20 (April-March), on the back of unfavorable weather conditions in the country’s largest exporting region, Western Australia. The wheat production is expected to fall 16.8% to 15.85 million mt, the Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences said in a report. The forecast is 8.4% lower from the amount of wheat produced in 2018-19. “Australian winter crop production was adversely affected by seasonal conditions in early spring that were more unfavorable than expected in most cropping regions, particularly in Western Australia and southern New South Wales,” the report read. The new forecast is almost in line with that of the National Australia Bank’s estimate of 15.5 million mt and Rabobank’s 15.8 million mt. The US Department of Agriculture projects the 2019-20 (July-June) production at 17.2 million mt.
Russian Wheat Prices Up With Rising Export, Domestic Demand
Hellenic Shipping News – 12/03/2019
Russian wheat prices recorded a third consecutive weekly rise last week as higher demand from exporters and domestic processors offset rising supply from farmers, selling part of their stockpile before the New Year, analysts said on Monday. Black Sea prices for Russian wheat with 12.5% protein content and December delivery were up $0.50 to $208.5 per tonne on a free on board (FOB) basis at the end of last week, agricultural consultancy IKAR said in a note. SovEcon, another agricultural consultancy in Moscow, said wheat prices were up $1 to $210.50 per tonne. Barley rose $0.50 to $188.50 per tonne. Russia’s winter grain sowings are in a better condition than at the same time a year ago, an official at the Hydrometcentre weather forecasting service told Reuters last week.
‘Faces of Snake River’ Campaign Targets Dam Breaching Misinformation
Capital Press – 12/02/2019
Northwest agricultural transportation advocates are backing a new advertising campaign to combat environmentalists’ “simplistic messages” about removing four dams on the Snake River….Fairfield, Wash., wheat farmer Marci Green is featured in the campaign. “Just like every farmer in Eastern Washington, most of our wheat is exported,” Green said. “The most fuel-efficient and cost-effective way for us to get our crops to the ports in Portland and Vancouver is by truck and barge on the Snake and Columbia River.” Barges using locks at the Snake River dams move nearly 10% of all U.S. wheat exports to international markets most years. “Anything we can do as the agricultural industry to get the word out and communicate why the river system is important to our industry and to the economy of the whole state and the Pacific Northwest, we need to do,” Green said.