China Meetings and Events

On November 24 Gary and Katy travelled to Beijing, China for a series of meetings and events leading up to the  International Grain Trade Coalition (IGTC) 2018 General Assembly of Members.  

Meetings with NAEGA member representatives and the U.S. Embassy USDA staff on Monday 26 focused on how China’s grain and oilseed import requirements related to plant breeding and other technologies can be met. On Tuesday November 27, the China National Association of Grain Sectors (CNAGS) and the International Grain Trade Coalition (IGTC) co-hosted a World Grain Trade Forum in Beijing. The opening ceremony was led by CNAGS President Patrick Xu, IGTC President Gary C. Martin, and China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs. The Forum included formal comments and presentations from the World Trade Organization (WTO), the International Grains Council (IGC), the China National Grain and Oils Information Center, the Dalian Commodity Exchange and commodity specific analysis from international experts.  On Wednesday November 28 CNAGS hosted the IGTC General Assembly at which IGTC officers were elected. The newly elected officer of IGTC are:

  • President: Gary C. Martin,
  • Vice President: Iliana Axiotiades, Secretary General, COCERAL
  • Treasurer: Gerald Masila, Executive Director, Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC)
  • Secretary: Pat O’Shannassy, CEO, Grain Trade Australia (GTA).

A complete trip report will soon be available  

Tokyo Seminar and Reception

Over 40 attendees from the Japanese grain and oilseed industry made for a very successful contract seminar on November 30 at the Shinagawa Goos in Tokyo. Participants in the seminar, which was led by NAEGA President and CEO Gary Martin and Senior Advisers Sam Bonilla and Andrew Marting, reviewed international grain trade contracts and took a close look at the NAEGA II FOB contract. In addition, Andrew presented on the recent changes to the NAEGA 2 contract.

Following the seminar, NAEGA welcomed approximately 60 guests to a reception to celebrate the Japanese grain and oilseed industry. The reception was opened with remarks from Gary, followed by speeches from the U.S. Embassy’s Senior Agricultural Attaché, the head of the Grain Operations Division at the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Japanese Feed Trade Association (JFTA). A copy of Gary’s remarks can be found here.

To learn more about NAEGA activities in Tokyo, or to learn about how NAEGA can host a personalized, innovative contracts and best practices seminar for your company, please contact Gary or Ryan.

A complete trip report will soon be available 

Japan Trade Agreement Comments

On November 26 NAEGA and the National Grain and Feed Association submitted joint comments to the U.S. Trade Representative regarding upcoming U.S. trade negotiations with Japan. In the comments, NAEGA and NGFA stated that, as a strong and longtime ally, treaty and trade partner, the United States should not accept agriculture, forestry and fisheries outcomes from Japan that are limited in scope. Instead, the U.S. should work with our Japanese partners to pursue additional market access and integration that is proportionate to and reflects the close relationship the two countries together have built and enjoyed over the last 70-plus years.

NAEGA and NGFA also requested that Japan expand all current agricultural market access – to include and exceed all offsetting competitive advantages provided to other countries through the European Union (EU)-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement and the CPTPP – while incorporating modernization provisions adopted in the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement to address the challenges of 21st century global trade. A copy of the NAEGA/NGFA comments can be found here.

IGTC Newsletter

The latest IGTC newsletter is now available! Highlights include a recap of the IGTC General Assembly in Beijing, a briefing on the World Grain Trade Forum and an IGTC notice to the trade on agricultural applications of precision biotechnology.

Read the full newsletter here.

Comments on AMS soybean, corn and canola standards

On December 3 NAEGA joined comments to the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) on their request for information on changes to the U.S. corn and canola and U.S. soybean standards.

For corn and canola, NAEGA joined the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) in comments stating that both organizations believe that changes to the U.S. grain standards create confusion and uncertainty for market participants and should be avoided unless they can be shown to demonstrably improve or correct significant flaws in the existing standards. Unless changes are justified based upon these criteria, NGFA and NAEGA believe they can be counterproductive – creating a lack of understanding, more uncertainty and increased risk among domestic and international buyers, which may tend to encourage some customers to seek out alternative suppliers in other countries whose grading standards are more stable and predictable.

For soybeans, NAEGA joined NGFA, the American Soybean Association, the National Oilseed Processors Association, and the U.S. Soybean Export Council in comments to AMS. These comments state that that AMS should withdraw its request for information and not proceed with further rulemaking regarding changes to the soybean standard. In particular, these organizations believe that industry needs additional time for the soybean market to normalize and for the U.S. to resolve major tariff and non-tariff barriers with foreign buyers, among other things, before changes to the standards should be considered.

A copy of the comments can be found here:

U.S.-China Trade Negotiations

On Saturday, December 1 the White House announced the completion of a “highly successful meeting” between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jingping. During the meeting, both leaders discussed the ongoing trade tensions between the two countries and agreed to proceed with talks to resolve bilateral issues. In exchange, the U.S. agreed to suspend plans to increase tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods from 10 to 25 percent on January 1. Instead, both parties agreed to talks to resolve the trade dispute within 90 days. In addition, China has agreed to buy a very substantial amount of agricultural, energy, industrial, and other product from the United States to reduce the trade imbalance, and U.S. administration officials stated that China has agreed to provide tariffs concessions for U.S. autos.

A copy of the White House statement on U.S.-China talks can be found here.

2019 U.S. Trade Missions

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service has announced its trade mission schedule for 2019. While final dates are subject to confirmation, planned USDA trade missions for 2019 are scheduled as follows:

  1. Taiwan (Taipei), March 11-14
  2. Canada (Montreal and Toronto), April 2-5
  3. Colombia (Bogota), June 3-6 (to include buyers from Panama)
  4. Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City), October 14-17 (to include buyers from Burma (Myanmar) and Thailand)
  5. Kenya (Nairobi), October 28-31 (to include buyers from Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda)
  6. Mexico (Mexico City), November 5-8
  7. United Kingdom (London), TBD

A full and updated list of missions can be found on the FAS website here.