EU Biotechnology Concerns Aired Outside of T-TIP Negotiations

The United States and the European Union (EU) held the sixth round of Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Negotiations (T-TIP) in Brussels this week. While negotiations have progressed to the exchange of texts in several policy areas, formal discussion on issues such as sanitary and phytosanitary measures, including addressing the EU asynchronous biotechnology approval process are reportedly still in a conceptual stage.

Building on Success: Council Continues Trade Servicing Efforts with Mexico

Mexican Group

As a result of proximity, steady demand growth, the North American Free Trade Agreement and the ability to ship grain by truck, rail and vessel, Mexico has been a top U.S. corn market for years. This year is no exception. So far this marketing year (Sept. 1, 2013, through July 10, 2014), Mexico has combined sales (accumulated exports and outstanding sales) of 10.5 million metric tons (413 million bushels), compared to 4.4 million tons (173 million bushels) over the same time period last year. Mexico is still a growing market for U.S. grains and the U.S.

USGC Annual Meeting Continues China Discussion

Fred Gale

Disruptions in U.S. corn and distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) to China have focused attention on the uncertainties surrounding the enormous potential of the world’s largest emerging market. The U.S. Grains Council devoted extensive attention to China and related trade issues at its winter annual meeting this past February in Long Beach, California, and it will continue the discussion at its upcoming summer annual meeting.

TPP Negotiations Make Incremental Progress; US-Japan Talks Continue

Chief negotiators from the 12-member countries of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) met this week in Ottawa, Ontario, to continue working through technical issues of the various chapters. While the prevailing view is that continuous progress is being made on resolving texts in a number of areas, decisions on several unresolved issues will have to be made at the ministerial levels of the member countries.

Chart of the Week

Import Margins Balloon in China

Corn in China

This week’s U.S. Grains Council Chart of the Week illustrates that despite declining corn prices in the United States, corn prices in China continue to rise. Following years of increasing corn production, China has an abundant supply of corn available. However, transportation costs from production areas to areas that use corn make corn in China more expensive than corn imported from the United States. According to the chart, corn in China is selling corn at almost $155 more per ton than corn imported from the United States would cost.

Word from the Ground

Top US Customer a Top Priority for the Council

Japan group visit

By: Erick Erickson, U.S. Grains Council Vice President

The U.S. Grains Council met with long-standing Japanese customers of U.S. commodity corn, non-genetically modified corn and sorghum this week in Washington, D.C. The groups, the Japanese Feed Manufacturer’s Association, Zen-Noh and the Japanese Corn Starch, all affirmed their appreciation for their long-standing trade relationship with the United States and the opportunity to meet regularly to discuss concerns and issues. They then presented their list of concerns.