ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU)- Will U.S. soybeans ever get back the huge share of the soybean market to China they had before tariffs. Earlier this week the Chinese Ambassador to Brazil told a group of Brazilian soybean officials they shouldn't worry about losing the significant gains they have seen in their exports to China, even if the U.S. and China sign a new trade deal. He also told them Brazil could be shipping more meat exports to China in the future following high level talks between the 2 countries set for next month. Reports say the Chinese are in the process of adding 78 Brazilian meats to the list of those already ok'ed to ship meat to China.
We're also just now finding out that the European Union's plan to start trade talks with the U.S. won't be all that good for agriculture. The European plan calls for those talks to exclude any agricultural issues. That's because the EU doesn't accept biotechnology advancements in agricultural production and doesn't accept science based technology. They use risk based information that is not accepted internationally through Codex standards for food production. U.S. soybean growers point out that they shipped $1.6 billion worth of soybeans to Europe in 2017 but that amount could have been much greater if they accepted technology advancements.
Farmers in the flood stricken Midwest states like Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri are still waiting for Congress to pass a bill that would get them some disaster aid money. But it's not going to happen for a couple of weeks at least. Members of Congress are on a 2 week break for Easter. And even when they get back there is the concern that politics will get in the way of an aid bill. Earlier the House passed a $14 billion aid bill but that included money to help Puerto Rico recover from the hurricane of a couple of years ago so the President wouldn't sign it. And before leaving town last week, the House passed another bill calling for $3 billion in aid just for the Midwest but the Senate didn't act on it.
Even Wisconsin fish farmers are hoping for better prices this year. In 2018 commercial trout producers saw their sales drop by 13% from 2017-down to just under 1 and a half million dollars. Across the country, trout sales last year were right at $100 million, a drop of 10% from 2017. Idaho produces 40% of the farm raised trout sold across the country.