This year's U.S. cotton crop could be the second-largest since 2006, according to the National Cotton Council's respected survey of growers. Cotton Council economist Jody Campiche says growers intend to expand cotton plantings by nearly 4 percent, lured by strong cotton prices compared to likely returns from competing crops such as corn and soybeans.
Days after China began an anti-dumping investigation of imported U.S. sorghum, its Ministry of Commerce met with domestic companies to discuss possible anti-dumping and anti-subsidy reviews of U.S. soybeans, reported Bloomberg.
With an eye toward higher rural income and farm productivity, China issued a policy statement calling for a modernized farm sector by 2035. China also announced an investigation into whether U.S. sorghum is being sold at unfairly low prices on the Chinese market.
As trade relationships with China, Mexico, and Canada remain precarious, U.S. hog farmers are increasingly worried about the health of their export markets. Pork exports reached a peak of nearly $6 billion in 2017.
The United States is the world’s largest soybean producer and Brazil is the largest exporter, a long-term trend that is putting U.S. farmers at a disadvantage in sales to China, which buys 60 percent of the soybeans on the world market.
The No. 1 soybean importer in the world, China, is toughening its standards for imported U.S. soybeans, a step that may cut into the U.S. share of the market, said Reuters.
China is the world’s No. 1 sorghum importer, and its appetite for livestock feed is driving up U.S. sorghum prices, according to the USDA’s monthly Grain: World Markets and Trade report.
During President Donald Trump’s recent trip to China, Montana's Republican Senator Steve Daines negotiated a $300 million beef cattle deal between the Montana Stockgrowers Association and the Chinese e-retailer JD.com. The deal calls for the retailer to buy $200 million of cattle between 2018 and 2020, and invest $100 million in a new feedlot and packing plant in Montana. Some ranchers are concerned that this unusual deal will favor certain ranchers over others, and further concentrate power over the American livestock sector in the hands of Chinese companies.
Climate change is likely to be slightly less damaging thanks to policies in India and China that could offset the U.S.'s reduced environmental efforts under President Trump. “The Carbon Action Tracker (CAT) report, by three independent European research groups, said current policies meant the world was headed for a warming of 3.4 degrees Celsius (6.1 Fahrenheit) by 2100, down from 3.6 degrees (6.5) it predicted a year ago,” explained Reuters.