USDA expects to set tariff payment rates this month

The USDA anticipates it will announce payment rates before the end of this year for the second round of Trump tariff payments, said an agency spokesperson on Wednesday. The news followed a published report that the White House was delaying the payments.

Trade war side effect: Smallest ag trade surplus in 12 years

Although ag exports are consistently larger than ag imports, that trade surplus is forecast to narrow to $14.5 billion in fiscal 2019, which would be the smallest surplus since the $12.2 billion of 2007, say USDA economists.

White House expects immediate action by China on ag trade

Taking a "show me" stance, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Monday he expected China to roll back tariffs on U.S. farm exports promptly and begin trade reforms in line with the trade deal struck by President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. The White House said over the weekend that China will make "very substantial" purchases of agricultural, energy and industrial goods but analysts saw no firm commitments in the statement.

Hog prices below cost of production because of trade war

Pork producers will struggle through this winter with market prices below the cost of production, says economist Chris Hurt of Purdue University. "Record pork production and trade disputes continue to be the near-term drag on prices," wrote Hurt at the farmdoc Daily blog, adding that futures prices in the spring and summer "will be high enough to provide profitability."

The farm-income bump is the bailout by Trump

U.S. farm income will be slightly higher than expected this year due chiefly to $4.7 billion in Trump tariff payments that will buffer the impact of trade war on commodity prices, says the USDA. With the bailout, farmers are forecast to collect $13.6 billion in direct farm payments, the largest amount in 12 years.

U.S. ag sales to China to fall by 45 percent in trade war

China, formerly the No. 1 customer for U.S. ag exports, will buy a comparatively paltry $9 billion worth of those exports this fiscal year, a startling 45 percent cutback due to the trade war, said the USDA on Thursday.

Demand from China drives disastrous overfishing of sea cucumbers

FERN’s latest story, in collaboration with National Geographic, takes readers inside the world of the illegal sea-cucumber trade, showing how demand for the delicacy in China is driving a global market that threatens to wipe out many species of the marine animal.(No paywall) 

Smallest U.S. soy exports in four years as trade war reshapes world market

Forced by the trade war, China, the world’s largest soybean importer, and the United States, the largest grower, are on the prowl for new soybean trading partners, though neither will fully replace the other soon, said the USDA on Thursday.

As China tightens its belt, U.S. soybeans feel the pinch

The giant of world soybean trade, China, will slash its soy imports by 10 percent this trade year under the dual effects of trade war with the United States and an outbreak of African swine fever, said the U.S. agriculture attache in Beijing. At the same time, USDA data show a sharp decline in soybean exports to all markets and a trade group said tit-for-tat tariffs are putting pressure on pork sales to China and Mexico.

Chinese ‘pullback’ from U.S. soybeans likely to persist for months

The U.S. share of the Chinese soybean market shrank during the marketing year that ended Aug. 31 and, with the trade war underway, shipments are anemic in the new sales year, says the USDA: "A large pullback in Chinese demand for U.S. soybeans appears likely to continue well into 2918/19."