Strengthening U.S. Dollar Highlights Significance of Trade Agreements


As the U.S. dollar strengthens and makes U.S. grain relatively more expensive in the global marketplace, the impact of favorable trade policies on sales is coming to the forefront in marketers’ minds.

Over the last year, the U.S. dollar has strengthened against most currencies, including 15 percent against the currencies of most major corn customers since 2012. In the time between 2001 and 2009, the dollar strengthened but did not significantly affect the price of U.S. corn to customers. This year will likely follow that pattern.

USTR, USDA Reports Tell Story of Trade’s Impact

As the trade policy debate continues in Washington, recent releases by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) highlight the potential, barriers to, and impacts of trade. This is information important to framing the discussion about trade particularly as Congress considers when and how to consider trade promotion authority (TPA).

Reports from USTR are now available on both the President’s trade agenda and existing trade barriers facing U.S. exports.

Chart of Note

Chart of Note: U.S. Corn Carryover’s Influence on 2015 Planting Intentions

chart of note, corn carry over

This week’s U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC's) Chart of Note illustrates that global corn stocks for the 2014/2015 marketing year are projected to be 185.3 million metric tons (7.3 billion bushels), the largest ending stocks since the 1999/2000 marketing year when 194.4 million tons (7.7 billion bushels) were carried over, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). 

Word from the Ground

New Nutrient Labeling Framework has Implications for Food Barley in Japan

By: Tommy Hamamoto, U.S. Grains Council Director in Japan

Beginning April 1, 2015, the Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA) in Japan will be launching a new food labeling framework for foods with health functions. This new framework will allow for foods containing a functional nutrient to be advertised as such on their labels. Beta-glucan, which is contained in some U.S. barley varieties, is a nutrient that falls into this category as a substance lowering blood sugar level, also known as glycemic index.