The WTO ruled in favor of the United States in its complaint that China had rigged its tariff system to constrict entry of foreign-grown grain. The ruling was the second U.S. victory in seven weeks against trade-distorting Chinese agricultural practices.
Thanks to continued strong demand from overseas buyers, U.S. corn exports this trade year could be the second highest ever, the Foreign Agricultural Service said on Thursday.
American corn faces import levies of up to 25 percent, according to a 10-page list of potential targets for retaliatory tariffs released by the European Commission, reported AgriCensus. The tariffs would counter the Trump administration's announcement that it intends to imose high tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum.
U.S. corn farmers are seeking federal court approval of a $1.5-billion settlement with Syngenta for its decision to sell them a GMO corn variety before China had approved it for import, reported Reuters.
With the seventh round of NAFTA negotiations underway, the Mexican National Federation of Corn Farmers said the redrawn pact should limit corn imports into the country, reported Xinhua, the Chinese news agency.
Brazil, the agricultural giant of South America, will supplant the United States as the world's largest corn exporter before a decade passes, says a top Brazilian commodity consultant. The prediction underlines diminishing U.S. dominance of the world market. Brazil already is the largest soybean exporter and a close second to the U.S. as a soybean grower.
Mexico is the largest customer for U.S. corn exports, and with negotiations under way for a new NAFTA there is "a grassroots and political push" in Mexico for larger domestic farm production, says Cronkite News. The initiative is partly a response to President Trump's anti-NAFTA and anti-Mexico statements and partly a desire for more self-reliance.
The International Grains Council sharply boosted its estimate of corn consumption in China, pointing to government measures expected to drive up industrial use of the grain 14 percent during 2017/18. The shift in Chinese consumption will affect grain stockpiles worldwide, said the IGC in its monthly Grain Market Report, with the first reduction in five years in the grain "carryover" at the end of the marketing year.
In 2013, China drove down corn prices by rejecting U.S. cargoes that included a GMO variety sold by Syngenta that had not yet been approved for import by Beijing. The disruption led to lawsuits against the Swiss agribusiness, which may pay close to $1.5 billion to settle the litigation, said Reuters.
In the first of several class-action lawsuits pending against Syngenta, a federal-court jury awarded $217.7 million to farmers who blamed the seed company for a collapse in corn prices when China rejected cargoes of corn that included the genetically modified Syngenta strain.