News & Events
Free trade contributes to broad-based economic growth and, for the United States, is essential in gaining market share among the rapidly expanding middle class in developing countries, Chief Agricultural Negotiator for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Darci Vetter told U.S. Grains Council leaders during a speech outlining an ambitious U.S. trade agenda.
Growth in the Middle Class of Developing Countries
In Geneva, the World Trade Organization (WTO) failed to reach a compromise with India and complete negotiations on the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) by the deadline of July 31. Although an interim agreement was reached at the Bali Ministerial meeting last December, India insisted on a permanent agreement regarding the issue of public stockpiling for food security purposes before it would sign on to the TFA.
The most recent World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report points to strong production of U.S. coarse grains, particularly of corn and sorghum. It is also predicting an abundant supply of grain for export mostly due to flat U.S. consumption expectations.
Registration for Export Exchange 2014, the premiere international trade conference focused on U.S. coarse grains exports, is now open! At the event, international buyers have the opportunity to learn about U.S. grains through educational sessions and dynamic speakers as well as to network with the more than 300 U.S. suppliers and agribusiness professionals attending the conference.
Held every two years, this year the conference is scheduled for Oct. 20-22 at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel in Seattle, Washington.
Earlier this season, Wisconsin faced some of the worst weather in the major U.S. corn growing states, as a cool, wet spring delayed planting. While the summer started out colder and wetter than normal, the weather has improved during the last few weeks.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Wisconsin Crop Progress and Condition report, 76 percent of the Wisconsin corn crop is currently rated as good to excellent. Overall, corn is silking in 22 percent of the state. Soil moisture is also high, thanks to abundant rains.
In July, chief negotiators from the 12–countries participating in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks met in Ottawa, Ontario, to continue their work. The TPP is a potential free trade agreement between countries in the Asia-Pacific region, including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, the United States and Japan.
The U.S. Grains Council bids farewell to Adel Yusupov, USGC regional director in Southeast Asia, who will be returning to the United States this September to accept a position with International Feed
Yusupov has served the Council for the last 10 years, starting his career in Washington D.C. Since becoming the regional director in Southeast Asia, he has played a key part in the huge growth in U.S. distillers’ dried grains with solubles, known often as DDGS, and corn gluten meal imports into Southeast Asia.
With the onset of summer, hot and dry conditions swept across many of India’s key agricultural areas. Due in part to the El Niño weather phenomenon, monsoons essential to Indian agriculture are not coming as quickly as expected, leading to speculation over production and prices for summer crops.
During the first week of June, members of MAIZALL (the international maize alliance) traveled to Europe on a mission to discuss their message with grains producers, consumers and European Union officials. The alliance – comprised of corn producer representatives from the United States, Brazil and Argentina – emphasized the importance of modern agricultural practices, including the acceptance of biotechnology.
As the summer corn harvest ends, total corn production in Brazil has exceeded initial expectations, causing prices to drop. Many traders believed, however, that prices would increase, which resulted in fewer sales made at the beginning of the year. As such, export volumes are low as a large corn crop enters the market.
Production for the summer crop is nearly complete at 32.2 million metric tons, with 100 percent of the crop harvested in southern and central parts of the country. Total production expectations are now estimated at 75 million tons.