Labor dispute settled in PNW

Grain inspections have resumed at the Port of Vancouver in Washington State following settlement of an ongoing labor dispute.

United Grain Corporation and the International Longshore & Warehouse Union came to a tentative agreement earlier this week on a nearly two-year long labor dispute. Inspectors from the Washington Department of Agriculture resumed grain inspections at the port on Tuesday.

The restarting of inspections has eased concerns of Pacific Northwest wheat growers, grain elevators and foreign buyers. Soybeans and corn also were affected.

Good week for new crop corn, soybean sales

USDA reports corn and soybean sales for the week ending August 7 were within pre-report estimates, while wheat was below all expectations. Physical shipments of wheat were above what’s needed weekly to meet USDA projections for the 2014/15 marketing year, but corn and soybeans fell short of their respective marks for 2013/14. The 2014/15 marketing year starts September 1 for corn and soybeans, and October 1 for soybean products.

Wheat came out at 338,700 tons (12.4 million bushels), down 43% from the week ending July 31 and 37% lower than the four week average. Unknown destinations purchased 68,900 tons and Brazil bought 59,000 tons. At this point in the 2014/15 marketing year, wheat sales are 391.7 million bushels, compared to 518.4 million in 2013/14.

Old crop corn had a net reduction of 117,100 tons (-4.6 million bushels), with sales of 8,400 to 131,200 tons offset by cancellations of 10,600 to 322,500 tons. Nearing the end of the 2013/14 marketing year, corn sales are 1.914 billion bushels, compared to 750 million bushels late in 2012/13. Sales of 787,800 tons (31.0 million bushels) for 2014/15 delivery were mainly to Colombia (284,000 tons) and unknown destinations (138,200 tons).

Soybeans were reported at 61,400 tons (2.3 million bushels), 35% less than the previous week and 55% under the four week average. China picked up 61,100 tons and Taiwan purchased 18,200 tons, but unknown destinations canceled on 70,000 tons. So far this marketing year, soybean sales are 1.697 billion bushels, compared to 1.365 billion this time last year. Sales of 1,081,800 tons (39.7 million bushels) were primarily to China (640,000 tons) and unknown destinations (293,500 tons).

Old crop soybean meal had a net reduction of 31,700 tons, with sales of 6,100 to 40,000 tons offset by cancellations of 5,000 to 86,000 tons. For the marketing year to date, soybean meal sales are 10,304,000 tons, compared to 9,908,900 a year ago. Sales of 151,800 tons for 2014/15 delivery were mostly to Mexico (76,900 tons) and the Philippines (50,000 tons), with unknown destinations cancelling on 26,000 tons.

Old crop soybean oil had a net reduction of 4,700 tons. Canada bought 5,500 tons and Nicaragua picked up 700 tons, but there were cancellations by Chile (6,200 tons), Mexico (2,400 tons), and the Dominican Republic. 2013/14 soybean oil sales are 805,900 tons, compared to 913,700 in 2012/13.

Net beef sales totaled 9,400 tons, down 21% from the week before and 23% lower than the four week average. The listed purchasers were South Korea (3,200 tons), Hong Kong (2,600 tons), Japan (1,700 tons), Canada (800 tons), and Mexico (600 tons).

Net pork sales totaled 30,300 tons after a slew of late reported sales. The reported buyers were Russia (7,400 tons), Japan (7,100 tons), Canada (5,000 tons), Mexico (5,000 tons), and South Korea (2,100 tons).

The end to the Era of Grain

The economics of the ag industry are changing.  Purdue ag economist Chris Hurt says the last several years may have been the era of grain, but as corn and soybean prices continue to decline – that is changing.  “What we’re moving into now is a real diminishing of the grain era,” he says.  “Those end users – like the livestock sector – the next several years may be their era where they are coming back with good incomes and rebuilding these herds.”

However, Hurt says the ag community would prefer to see more balanced incomes. “I think as we look back on this time period we’re going to say the grain sector had those years where it was extraordinarily on the high side,” he says.  “We’re going to get adjustment – most crop producers are going to have make adjustments.  BUT, in the long run, it is a good thing to get these sectors back in better balance.”

Hurt made his comments during a panel discussion about USDA’s August Crop Report at the Indiana State Fair.

AUDIO: Chris Hurt, Purdue Economist (7:07mp3)

USDA raises domestic ending stocks

USDA has raised 2013/14 ending stocks projections for corn and soybeans, along with 2014/15 estimates for corn, soybeans, and wheat. USDA’s next set of supply and demand numbers is out September 11.

Breakdown of selected supply and demand tables:

[Read more...]

Iowa soybean leaders get closer look at China’s dairy industry

Iowa Soybean Association leaders visited the Fuyuan Shihan Farm near Hohhot, the capital of Inner Mongolia in China. The farm, built in early 2013, has 4,000 Holsteins and Jerseys and is part of China’s growing dairy industry.

Iowa Soybean Association leaders visited the Fuyuan Shihan Farm near Hohhot, the capital of Inner Mongolia in China. The farm, built in early 2013, has 4,000 Holsteins and Jerseys and is part of China’s growing dairy industry.

Leaders of the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) recently returned from a trade mission to China, where they took a closer look at that nation’s growing dairy industry.

Grant Kimberley, market development director for ISA, says China is working to expand its dairy industry.  Currently, he says, there are about 14 million cows providing milk in China.

“If you want to compare that to the U.S., I think the numbers are in the low- to mid-20 million range for cows in the dairy sector,” Kimberley says. “So they still have a lot of room to grow as they continue to increase consumption of milk in the Chinese diet.”

Kimberley says current dairy consumption per capita in China is around 18 to 20 kilograms—or about 42 pounds—of dairy products per year.

“The projections by some of the industry contacts that we have is that that would double and get to, at least, up to 40 kilograms of dairy products in the next ten years,” he says. “So that’s good for dairy consumption and that’s good for soy consumption, because you will see increased usage of soy and bypass soybean meal in the dairy feed rations.”

AUDIO: Grant Kimberley (2:32 MP3)

The Iowa group visited a dairy farm and milk processing plant in the province of Inner Mongolia, facilities that ISA president Brian Kemp describes as “state of the art”.

AUDIO: Brian Kemp (2:34 MP3)

Link to ISA news release

Russia’s list of banned U.S. ag products

Russia’s list of banned U.S. agriculture products – in retaliation for sanctions on Russia – does not include all ag products, according to the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service.

The decree signed by Russian President Putin does ban for one year imports of U.S. beef, pork, poultry, fruits, vegetables, fish, seafood, cheese, and milk. It does not include U.S. rice or wild rice.

The Russian ban also applies to European Union countries as well as Canada, Australia, and Norway – countries that have imposed sanctions on Russia over the Ukranian crisis.

The ag community says the impact is not expected to be very big. Russia’s imports were on the decline prior to the ban.

Even before ban, Russia was declining market

The general reaction to Russia’s ban on U.S. ag imports is that, while it’s unfortunate, it’s not going to have a significant impact on U.S. farmers and ranchers.

Nebraska Senator and former Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns says exports to Russia aren’t what they once were.

“Exports nationally to Russia have been going down—2013 was less than the year before,” Johanns says. “I think that’s Putin’s practices—they’ve been an unreliable trading partner.”

Nebraska Farm Bureau president Steve Nelson says Russia’s ban shouldn’t have much impact on Nebraska agriculture.

“We really don’t do a lot of trade with Russia right now,” Nelson says. “I’m sure there are a few areas—I think dry beans might be affected more than some other areas—but it’s probably not a surprise, under the circumstances, that this is happening.”

In all, U.S. ag exports to Russia amount to about 1.2 billion dollars a year, with about a third of that being meat and poultry exports.  Soybean exports to Russia last year were valued at about 157 million dollars.

The Nebraska Radio Network contributed to this story.

Strong week for soybean meal sales

USDA reports soybean meal export sales for the week ending July 31 were larger than expected, while corn, soybeans, and soybean oil were within the anticipated range, and wheat was below pre-report estimates. Physical shipments of soybeans were above what’s needed weekly to meet USDA projections for the current marketing year, but corn and wheat fell short of their respective marks.

Wheat came out at 590,900 tons (21.7 million bushels), down 26% from the week ending July 24 and 24% lower than the four week average. Nigeria purchased 222,400 tons and Taiwan bought 85,300 tons. For the 2014/15 marketing year to date, wheat sales are 379.3 million bushels, compared to 500.4 million in 2013/14. Sales of 30,000 tons (1.1 million bushels) for 2015/16 delivery were to Nigeria.

Corn was reported at 120,900 tons (4.8 million bushels), 30% less than the previous week and 66% below the four week average. Japan picked up 185,200 tons and Israel purchased 69,000 tons, but unknown destinations canceled on 287,300 tons and Egypt canceled on 68,000 tons. With four reporting weeks left in the 2013/14 marketing year, corn sales are 1.919 billion bushels, compared to 752.3 million in 2012/13. Sales of 758,700 tons (29.9 million bushels) for 2014/15 delivery were mainly to Colombia (237,000 tons) and Mexico (186,200 tons).

Soybeans were pegged at 94,900 tons (3.5 million bushels), a decrease of 49% on the week and 25% under the four week average. Indonesia bought 72,400 tons and China picked up 8,000 tons. At this point in the marketing year, soybean sales are 1.695 billion bushels, compared to 1.366 billion this time last year. Sales of 1,008,600 tons (37.1 million bushels) for 2014/15 delivery were primarily to China (700,000 tons) and unknown destinations (138,000 tons).

Soybean meal came out at 252,100 tons, up sharply from both last week and the four week average. Ireland purchased 86,000 tons and Egypt bought 50,000 tons. So far this marketing year, soybean meal sales are 10,335,700 tons, compared to 9,786,700 a year ago. Sales of 479,000 tons for 2014/15 delivery were mostly to unknown destinations (349,800 tons) and the Philippines (41,000 tons).

Soybean oil was reported at 15,400 tons, 21% higher than the week before and 68% more than the four week average. The Dominican Republic picked up 7,300 tons and Switzerland purchased 7,000 tons, while unknown destinations canceled on 9,900 tons. 2013/14 soybean oil sales are 810,600 tons, compared to 911,900 in 2012/13.

Net beef sales totaled 12,000 tons, down 31% from the prior week and 13% lower than the four week average. The listed buyers were Japan (8,100 tons), Canada (1,200 tons), Hong Kong (900 tons), South Korea (700 tons), and Taiwan (300 tons).

USDA states that due to late reported sales and exports from earlier this year that weren’t reported until this week, pork totaled 254,300 tons. The reported purchasers were Mexico (70,900 tons), Japan (57,900 tons), Russia (42,600 tons), China (31,200 tons), and South Korea (19,100 tons).

 

Russia bans U.S. ag imports

Russia is banning imports of ALL U.S. ag products and sanctioning other countries for one year that have imposed sanctions on Russia over the Ukrainian crisis.  Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree today. According to Reuters, it also bans fruit and vegetable imports from the E.U.

American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman says it’s a clear political move and that Russian consumers will be the biggest losers because they’ll be forced to pay more for food.

American Soybean Association President Ray Gaesser says “Russia is a key trading partner for U.S. agriculture,” but while important it is “only one of hundreds of our customers worldwide.” By limiting Russians’ access to American soybeans and other products, Gaesser says President Putin is doing “a great disservice to his Russian countrymen and women.”

Russia’s move has supported wheat because it could lead to increased U.S. exports to countries that would normally be served by Russia or Ukraine. Ukraine’s also a sizeable exporter of corn.

NPPC weighs-in with Congress on Japan/TPP

The National Pork Producers Council has weighed in on Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations with congressional committee members. The NPPC has submitted written testimony to the Senate Finance subcommittee on International Trade, Customs and Global Competitiveness saying Japan should open trade to U.S. pork as South Korea did in spite of farmers’ objections in both those countries.

At the World Pork Expo earlier this summer, NPPC’s Nick Giordano told Brownfield that Japan’s insistence on keeping tariffs on pork and other U.S. goods is unacceptable and the TOP trade issue of our time…

“We’ve got support in Congress but we need people weighing in at the grassroots, telling their members of Congress ‘NO’ to Japan. We want Japan in, YEAH, but they need to do what every other U.S. trading partner has done. We’re not giving special treatment to Japan! It’s economic suicide for American agriculture to do that.”

The NPPC says “there is absolutely no reason Japan should be treated differently from other U.S. FTA partners.”