Growth Energy, the Renewable Fuels Association, and the U.S. Grains Council are calling upon the U.S. government to develop an immediate response to Brazil’s newly implemented tariffs on U.S. ethanol imports, a trade barrier that threatens over $750 million in U.S. exports and American jobs.
The recent changes in both the Brazilian and Argentine governments are highlighting their interests in becoming pro-business – and in agriculture’s case, pro-trade. This change in attitude from the largest South American corn producing countries is creating urgency in the United States for the completion of the two multilateral trade agreements that are still pending, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP).
Leaders from MAIZALL, the international alliance for maize, were in Washington this week for discussions with senior U.S. officials from the Department of Agriculture, State Department and Office of the U.S. Trade Representative regarding ongoing cooperation with the governments of Argentina and Brazil on market access for crops derived from biotechnology.
Nine U.S. farmers learned firsthand about their customers’ perspectives and studied U.S. export competitors during the U.S. Grains Council’s (USGC) Grain Export Mission (GEM) last month. The participants returned from this mission with a clearer understanding of the challenges, opportunities and competition U.S. grains face in the international marketplace.
Following its mission to Europe earlier this summer, MAIZALL—The International Maize Alliance—will return to the continent next week to visit with senior officials of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
After 30 years of at or near double digit economic growth, China’s capacity to continue increasing domestic corn and feed grain production is believed to be below projected consumption growth. The demand potential is clearly there. Recent trade disruptions affecting in the export of U.S. corn and distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) exports to China, have driven Chinese corn prices sharply above world market levels. But U.S. competitors such as Brazil also face barriers in entering this market.
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.