China buying more U.S. soybeans
ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU) - The Chinese are buying U.S. soybeans. This time Chinese buyers have booked 664 thousand tons for delivery in the 2020/2021 marketing year. But the Chinese have a long way to go to meet their obligations under the U.S.-China Free Trade Agreement. The deal calls for them to buy 36 and a half billion dollars worth of U.S. farm products during the first year of the deal. So far their purchases have added up to just over 7 and a quarter billion dollars.
It’s supposed to happen this week-an announcement on the second round of payments to farmers under the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. That’s what Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said after he toured some of the storm damaged areas in Iowa. The next round of payments, Perdue said, will cover farmer losses from April 15th through the end of the year. There reportedly is about $14 billion available for those payments coming from the Commodity Credit Corporation.
Enforcement of dairy rules provisions isn’t the only concern American farmers have with the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Free Trade Agreement. Cattlemen are asking for stricter safety inspections on cattle coming into this country from Mexico. They are concerned Mexican cattlemen are still using the growth promoter clenbuterol. The request follows reports that 54 people in Mexico recently got sick from meat contaminated with the product. U.S. cattlemen want our government agencies to make sure Mexico’s food safety protocols are improved to be on the same level as our domestic system.
The ethanol industry has gotten some good news from President Trump. Reuters News is reporting that the president has sent a memo to the Environmental protection Agency telling the agency to deny 67 gap year retroactive small refinery waivers for the years 2011 through 2018. By law those refiners are obligated to blend biofuels, like ethanol, into their gasoline blends or allow small refineries to ask for exemptions to the rules. Since Mr. Trump has been in office the number of those exemptions has quadrupled causing ethanol demand to drop by billions of gallons as many large refineries have asked for and gotten those waivers. The move is seen as a move by the president to prop up his support in corn growing states across the Midwest.
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