Brazil

Global demand for biofuels to slow in decade ahead, says forecast

Corn will become less important and sugarcane will become the dominant feedstock for making ethanol in the coming decade, said an agricultural outlook published jointly by the OECD and FAO on Wednesday. The report forecast a relatively slow growth rate for biofuels, averaging 0.6 percent a year worldwide, with growth in the United States constrained by declining gasoline consumption.

Brazil may feel fertilizer pinch more than U.S.

U.S. farmers face sky-high fertilizer prices as the spring planting season approaches, but their supply may be more assured than that of Brazil growers in the wake of economic sanctions on Russia, said three university economists. Brazil imports 85 percent of its fertilizer, with Russia ordinarily supplying one-fifth of it.

‘Phase one’ was doomed to disappoint, and it did, say analysts

The 2020 agreement that de-escalated the Sino-U.S. trade war set unrealistically high goals for U.S. exports to China and failed to deliver on them by large margins, say analysts. Overall, China bought just 57 percent of the goods and services it committed to buying as part of the “phase one” agreement. The agriculture sector, at 83 percent, came closest to reaching its export goal.

A bio-economy in the Amazon to prevent deforestation

In the Amazon rainforest of Brazil, a nascent but significant movement is underway to protect the rainforest by connecting small-scale producers tapping rubber trees with multinational brands, report Brian Barth and Flávia Milhorance in FERN's latest story, produced with The New Republic.(No paywall)

USDA forecasts highest prices for U.S. crops in years amid global boom

U.S. farmers will reap two of their largest corn and soybean crops ever and sell them for the highest average prices since the commodity boom ended several years ago, said the government Wednesday in its first projections of the fall harvest. The USDA also said that global soybean king Brazil would increase its share of the world market at the expense of U.S. exports.

Even in economic downturn, tropical forest losses climb

During the first months of the coronavirus pandemic, as economic activity ground to a virtual standstill, Mother Nature flirted with recovery. With so many factories closed and far fewer vehicles on the road, Greenhouse gas emissions plummeted. Air and water quality temporarily improved. Overall, the global economy shrank by roughly 4 percent in 2020, and yet one disturbing trend continued apace: forest destruction worldwide, largely as a result of agriculture. No paywall

WTO chooses first woman and African as director general

With a Trump administration objection out of the way, the WTO members selected Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a Nigerian, as its director general effective March 1. She will take office at a time of challenge for the organization; the world has lost confidence in mulilateral trade agreements as a path to …

Brazil heads, again, for its largest soy crop ever

Despite dry weather at the start of the planting season, Brazil is headed for its second record-setting soybean harvest in a row, said USDA analysts, who forecast the 2020/21 crop at 133 million metric tonnes, up nearly 6 percent from last year.

World soybean production to rise by 8 percent, says grains council

With a rebound in U.S. production, the world soybean crop will be a record 364 million tonnes in 2020/21, up 8 percent from this season, said the International Grains Council on Thursday. Record-setting corn and wheat crops were also forecast for 2020/21.

As agriculture expands, tropical forest losses soar

In September 2015, UN member states set a goal of halting deforestation by 2020 as part of its “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” But according to Frances Seymour, distinguished senior fellow at the World Resources Institute, “we seem to be going in the wrong direction.” Satellite data gathered by the University of Maryland and recently released via Global Forest Watch, an online forest monitoring platform directed by the WRI, indicate that 2019 was the third highest year for tropical primary forest loss since the turn of the century.

Brazil and Argentina grow half of world’s soybeans

The U.S. share of global soybean production is falling for a second year while its two South American oilseed rivals pass a milestone. Brazil and Argentina will grow 53 percent of the world’s soybeans, with a combined output of 180 million tonnes in 2019/20, estimated the USDA in its monthly …

Brazil says Trump changed his mind on steel and aluminum tariffs

Three weeks after he slammed Brazil and Argentina for actions "not good for our farmers," President Trump reversed his decision to impose high tariffs on steel and aluminum imported from the South American nations, said Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on social media over the weekend. "The relationship between the United States and Brazil has never been Stronger!" tweeted Trump on the same day.

Trump slaps tariffs on Brazil, Argentina metals – and French champagne

Brazil and Argentina are taking actions that are "not good for our farmers," said President Trump on Monday, announcing high tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the South American nations. Trump, who announced the tariffs on social media, said the weakening Brazilian real and Argentina peso adversely affects U.S. manufacturing and agricultural exports, making American-made goods more expensive.

‘A body blow’ to U.S. farmers as trade war deepens

In a steady escalation of the Sino-U.S. trade war, Chinese companies halted purchases of U.S. farm exports on Monday. The largest US farm group said China's actions were "a body blow to thousands of farmers and ranchers who are struggling to get by."

Brazil’s JBS wins a quarter of Trump-tariff contracts for pork

A Brazilian-owned meat processing company undercut its competition by more than $1 per pound to win nearly $78 million in pork contracts through a federal program launched to help American farmers offset the impact of the ongoing trade war. As a result, JBS USA has won more than 26 percent of the $300 million the USDA has allocated so far for pork purchases — more than any other company, according to the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting.(No paywall)

JBS, under fire for taking Trump’s tariff bailout, is accused of polluting a Colorado river

In a new lawsuit, environmental advocates say a Colorado beef-packing plant owned by JBS has been dumping polluted wastewater into a river for years. The suit comes as the Brazilian company is under fire for taking millions in President Trump's tariff bailout payments. (No paywall)

Brazil agrees to let some wheat enter duty-free, an opening for U.S. grain

Wheat growers declared victory—”a big win”—with Brazil’s agreement on Tuesday to allow duty-free import of wheat grown outside of a South American trading bloc. The so-called tariff-rate quota could result in exports worth more than $100 million a year if U.S. wheat dominates the new market …

Trade war could slow Chinese soy imports for years, says USDA

China will remain the world’s largest soybean importer in coming years even if the trade war with the United States is not settled, but it won’t be buying as much of the oilseed, said USDA analysts on Wednesday.

Ethanol exports set a record of 1.7 billion gallons

Roughly 11 percent of U.S. corn ethanol was exported in 2018, a record 1.7 billion gallons worth $2.7 billion, said ethanol trade groups on Wednesday. Exports were nearly 25 percent higher than the previous record of 1.4 billion gallons, set in the preceding year, said the groups.

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