Heavy snow in parts of the northern U.S. could prevent some farmers from harvesting the rest of their corn and soybeans until 2020 in the latest weather-related blow to growers. Flooding from torrential rains delayed spring seeding and prompted record amounts of acres to go unplanted. As of Sunday, the U.S. corn harvest was just 84% completed, the slowest rate in a decade. If crops are abandoned in fields until the spring, that's likely to further tighten supplies at a time when cash prices are already on the rise.
Pressure is mounting on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to take action to end a railway strike that's curtailing shipments of one the world's biggest exporters of raw materials. More than 3,200 conductors and yard operators walked off the job at Canadian National Railway Co. on Tuesday, disrupting cargo in a country that relies heavily on two main rail companies to transport oil, grain and consumer goods from its inland Prairies for export to the U.S. and the world.
The Trump administration's trade war is ravaging exports to China across the U.S. and well beyond the farm belt, new data from the U.S. Commerce Department show. More than 30 states stretching from Florida to Alaska suffered double-digit drops in merchandise exports to China through September of this year. Sales to the Asian nation fell 39% in Texas, where oil and gas products comprise the largest export to that country.
The price that President Donald Trump may have to pay to convince Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to come to the U.S. to sign a partial trade deal is becoming clear with Beijing stepping up its demands for relief from existing tariffs on about $360 billion in Chinese imports. The big question: Is he willing to pay it?
Struggling dairy farmers are finally getting some relief after a wave of closures that hit particularly hard in the presidential election battlegrounds of Wisconsin and Minnesota. Even as Americans drink less milk, prices on commodity markets have surged to five-year highs, providing some help to those still operating.
The U.S. and China signaled further progress on Monday, Nov. 4, toward a breakthrough in trade talks that could culminate in a meeting between Donald Trump and Xi Jinping later this month. China had hoped that if Xi traveled to the U.S. to sign a phase one trade deal it would be as part of a state visit, but is open to having him go even if it isn't, people familiar with the matter said. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Monday met a U.S. delegation that included National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien and U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross at a regional summit in Bangkok.
President Donald Trump's effort to boost corn demand by allowing year-round sales of ethanol-blended gasoline has run into a logistical problem. Few stations offer it. In corn country, gasoline with a 15% blend of ethanol is now pretty accessible year-round. But in large population states including California and New York it remains limited, and individual station owners are hesitating to put up the money to retrofit their pumps.
U.S. farmers may return to pre-trade war levels of sales to China in time for the presidential election year, relieving economic pressure on one of Donald Trump's key political constituencies as he campaigns for a second term and fights an impeachment inquiry. But the bonanza of $40 billion to $50 billion in annual agricultural sales to China that Trump promoted when he announced a tentative partial trade deal on Oct. 11 will almost certainly have to wait until after the presidential vote, if it ever comes. And China's added purchases also come with strings attached.
BASF SE reported third-quarter profit that slightly beat estimates after its $8.9 billion (8 billion-euro) purchase of agrochemical and seed assets from Bayer AG helped offset an economic slowdown stoked by the U.S.-China trade war. Adjusted earnings before interest and taxes fell 24% to 1.1 billion euros, the Ludwigshafen, Germany-based chemical maker said. Analysts had predicted 1.06 billion euros, according to a Bloomberg survey.
Export sales of American pork soared to an all-time high last week as buyers stock up in anticipation of a widening protein gap created by the spread of a pig-killing disease in Asia. "They're simply front-running the Chinese with everyone becoming fully aware of the demand wave about to hit," Dennis Smith, senior account executive at Archer Financial Services, said in an email.