Grain markets moving on without the U.S.


International grain markets are making significant moves to ensure they have a sustainable suppliers or customers as some American grain exporters await revamped trade deals.

Brazil, for example, is investing to increase its 2018-19 soybean acreage to 36.2 million hectares (89.45 million acres). The goal is to produce up to 120 million tons of soybeans to ensure sufficient supplies for  China while it remains in a trade dispute with the U.S.

“A good harvest in the southern hemisphere should guarantee the supply of soybeans to China,” Andre Debastiani, a partner at Brazil Agroconsult, told an industry conference in China, Reuters reported yesterday.

Since China imposed a 25 percent tariff on U.S. soybeans in July, American soybean exports to China have dropped dramatically.

A U.S. customer in the Middle East is also starting to look elsewhere for its grain imports.

Iraq, which imported 3.2 million tons of U.S. wheat in 2015, is sending a delegation to Russia to discuss whether Russian wheat can fill a gap in Iraq’s supply chain.

The Middle Eastern country needs an annual wheat supply of between 4.5 and 5 million tons, and has an import gap of about 2 million tons per year, Reuters reported.

And a European corn producer is hoping it can step in to meet China’s needs in the absence of U.S. corn.

Ukraine is expected to produce about 27 million metric tons of corn this year. Of that crop, between 3 and 5 million tons may go to China, Nikolay Gorbachov, president of the Ukrainian Grain Association, said at the Global Grain conference in Geneva, Switzerland, Bloomberg reported.

Ukraine has also increased its exports of sunflower meal and barley to China, Gorbachov said.

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