In the past two decades, China has shifted from a net exporter of agricultural products, with a trade surplus of $2.3 billion, to the world's largest importer, with a trade deficit of $100 billion, according to a review of Chinese membership in the World Trade Organization. The flood of imports obscures China's position as the fourth largest ag exporter in the world, trailing the European Union, the United States and Brazil.
USDA chief economist Joe Glauber, whose job required him to translate dry data into the story of U.S. agriculture for policymakers, is leaving USDA to become visiting senior fellow at a Washington think tank. His deputy, Robert Johansson, "will assume the duties of chief economist beginning January 1," said USDA. Glauber is shifting to International Food Policy Research Institute after 32 years with the federal government.
Chinese quarantine officials are barring imports of distillers dried grains from the United States because they may contain a genetically modified organism that is not approved by China, said Reuters.