News

U.S.-Canada Grain Trade Resources Now Available

An updated, modernized version of  the U.S.-Canada Grain Trade Resources website in now available at https://uscanadagraintrade.org/. This website,  initially launched in 2012 during the implementation of Canada’s Marketing Freedom for Grain Farmers Act, is now updated and modernized to reflect the impact of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, as well as other developments,  on the cross-border grain trade between the U.S and Canada.  The site contains question and answer modules for American and Canadian grain producers, as well as the Commercial Grain Trade and will be updated regularly. Users are encouraged to review the modules and submit additional questions, which may be included in future updates.  

U.S.-China Tariff Deadline Extended

On Sunday, February 24, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that his administration is suspending the March 1 implementation of additional tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, citing “substantial progress” during trade talks between American and Chinese officials in Washington this past week. As part of the negotiations, Mr. Trump announced that the U.S. and Chinese had forged a compromise on key issues, including forced technology and intellectual property transfers for U.S. firms doing business in China. Additionally, China has agreed to increase purchases of American agricultural goods and energy products.

U.S. FGIS Falling Number changes

On February 21, 2019 the U.S Federal Grain Insepction Service (FGIS) announced that it will implement a new barometric pressure correction and require the use of the Perten Shakematic for the determination of falling number (FN) for wheat grain to reduce overall variation of test results within the official inspection system. These new testing parameters will be implemented  effective May 1, 2019. FGIS will implement this new correction to reduce variation between labs.

 

A copy of the U.S. FGIS announcement can be found here.

U.S. and Canada Submit Counter Notification to the WTO Regarding India

On February 15, 2019, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced that the United States, together with Canada, has submitted a counter notification in the World Trade Organization (WTO) Committee on Agriculture (COA) on India’s market price support for five pulses: chickpeas, pigeon peas, black matpe, mung beans, and lentils.

 

Based on calculations by the U.S. and Canada, the counter notification argues that India has substantially underreported its market price support for chickpeas, pigeon peas, black matpes, mung beans, and lentils. When calculated according to WTO Agreement on Agriculture methodology, India’s market price support for each of these pulses far exceeded its allowable levels of trade-distorting domestic support. The United States expects a robust discussion on how India implements and notifies its policies at the next COA meeting, which is scheduled for February 26-27, 2019.

U.S. and UK Strike Long-Term Deal Over Derivatives

UK and U.S. markets regulators have finalized a long-term agreement this week to jointly oversee each other’s derivatives markets, providing a “bridge over Brexit” that removes concerns of turmoil if Britain leaves the EU without an agreement.

The agreement will minimize the risk of huge disruption to banks, institutional investors and corporations that use derivatives such as swaps and futures to hedge against movements in interest rates, currencies and commodities. Without such an accord, authorities warned that users would have faced much higher costs. The deal is meant to replicate the current agreement between the U.S. and the EU.

Calyxt gene edited soybean oil launch

On February 26, Calyxt announced the successful commercial launch of its Calyno™ High Oleic Soybean Oil, which is the Company’s first product to be sold on the U.S. market. Calyno oil contains approximately 80 percent oleic acid and up to 20 percent less saturated fatty acids compared to commodity soybean oil as well as zero grams of trans fat per serving. Calyno oil is produced in the U.S., thanks to Calyxt’s partnership with more than 100 farmers in the Upper Midwest region growing over 34,000 acres of Calyxt High Oleic Soybean.  

U.S.-China Commission Report on Biotech

On February 14, the U.S.-China Commission released a report entitled China’s Biotechnology Development: The Role of U.S. and Other Foreign Engagement, prepared for the Commission by Gryphon Scientific and Rhodium Group. The report examines the development of China’s biotechnology industry and the role foreign trade, investment, and other linkages—particularly with the United States—have played in its evolution. The full report can be found here.

Enlist Soybeans Approved

On February 21, the Republic of the Philippines notified that Enlist E3 soybean have been granted import approvals. Jointly developed by Dow AgroSciences and MS Technologies, Enlist E3 soybeans are tolerant to new 2,4-D choline in Enlist Duo and Enlist One herbicides, as well as glyphosate and glufosinate herbicides. Enlist Duo herbicide is a combination of new 2,4-D choline and glyphosate. Enlist One herbicide is a singular 2,4-D choline product that can be tank mixed with qualified glufosinate products. Dow AgroSciences is now part of Corteva Agriscience, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont. USDA deregulated the Enlist trait systems in corn, cotton and soybeans in 2014, but lack of import approvals had delayed commercialization, particularly in soybeans.

EU Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol

In late January, the European Union (EU) acknowledged that the U.S. Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol (SSAP), meets the requirements under the Renewable Energy Directive (RED). Building on the widely accepted SSAP, the new program, called SSAP-RED, addresses the specific requirements of the RED regulations, including restrictions on land conversion with commitments on auditing, compliance, and reporting. The decision shall apply until June 30, 2021. NAEGA has worked to define and support the SSAP since its conception.  

A copy of the new protocol can be found here.

USDA Agricultural Projections

On February 14 at 12 p.m. EST, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will release the complete set of tables prepared for the upcoming USDA Agricultural Projections to 2028 report. The tables will include projections for farm income, U.S. fruits, nuts and vegetables supply and use and global commodity trade. Tables will be posted in MS Excel format and posted to the USDA Office of the Chief Economist’s (OCE) website.

The complete USDA Agricultural Projections to 2028 report will be released on March 13, 2019 and will include a full discussion of the projections for U.S. commodity supply and use, farm income, and global commodity trade.

The tables will be a ten-year representative scenario for the agricultural sector. The projections do not represent USDA forecasts, but rather reflect a conditional long-run scenario based on specific assumptions about macroeconomic conditions, policy, weather, and international developments, with no domestic or external shocks to global agricultural markets. The Agricultural Act of 2014 is assumed to remain in effect through the projection period.

Background on USDA’s long-term projections and past issues of the report are available at the USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) Website.