Canadian farmers plan to slash canola plantings by 7 percent this year because of a trade clash with China and to greatly expand their sowings of spring wheat, said Statistics Canada on Wednesday.
U.S.-China negotiations to resolve the trade war are “moving along quite well,” said President Trump on Wednesday. Meanwhile, published reports said two rounds of talks were scheduled for late April and early May.
Canada could soon propose retaliatory tariffs on "a significant number of agricultural products," including U.S. wine, pork, apples and ethanol, as part of its campaign for removal of American tariffs on steel and aluminum, said ambassador David MacNaughton on Monday. The food and ag products would be part of a "refreshed" list of tariffs that originally took effect last July 1.
U.S. and Chinese negotiators may be within four weeks of resolving the Sino-U.S. trade war, said President Trump on Thursday. Trump said the nations are working on a comprehensive agreement. “And whether it’s our farmers or our technology people, all of them will be really happy.”
The U.S. food and agriculture sector would lose nearly $22 billion in exports, equal to 15 percent of this year's sales forecast, if the United States scrapped NAFTA without a replacement on top of withdrawing from TPP, said three Purdue economists in a report on Monday. "Under this more pessimistic outcome, the negative trade impacts would be reflected in lower incomes for U.S. farmers, reduced land returns and labor displacement."
An amorphous “fear-your-food” movement, fed in large part by the ceaseless churning of the internet, could sideline, deter, or even derail the use of such crucial agricultural tools as pesticides and genetically engineered crops and livestock, warned Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Thursday.
The U.S. agricultural trade surplus will shrink to $13.5 billion this fiscal year, the smallest in at least six years, as exports stagnate at $141.5 billion and imports tick upward to $128 billion, said the USDA in a quarterly forecast.
Persistently low commodity prices are pushing some farmers to the financial edge, said the chairmen of the Senate and House Agriculture committees on Thursday. "We are in a very tough spot," said Senate Ag chairman Pat Roberts. The House Ag chairman, Collin Peterson, said "we are not in crisis yet" but said that continued sour conditions would sap the finances of a growing number of farmers.
For the third day in a row, the USDA confirmed a large sale of U.S. soybeans to China, this time 586,000 tonnes. With the purchase, reported by private exporters on Wednesday, China bought 3.8 million tonnes of soybeans in three days and is well on its way to the 5 million tonnes promised during a White House meeting last week.