When it comes to Chinese purchases of U.S. agricultural goods, signs are growing that President Donald Trump won't get what he wants anytime soon. Trump complained Thursday, July 11, that China hasn't boosted its purchases of U.S. farm products, a promise he claims he secured in a meeting with his counterpart Xi Jinping in June. But according to officials in Beijing familiar with the talks, no such agreement was made. China's Commerce Ministry also indicated that in their view, substantial discussions have yet to restart even though both sides spoke on the phone.
The world's top agricultural-commodity traders have for months stuck to the mantra they'll benefit from a deadly pig disease roiling global markets. Just how much they'll profit depends on the location of their assets.
The African swine fever epidemic has pushed up Chinese wholesale pork prices by a quarter since the start of March. As much as a fifth of the country's herd has been culled. So why won't Beijing import American meat?
After suffering through the wettest 12 months since at least 1895, U.S. farmers have plans to adapt next year to what some forecasters say may be an increasingly soggy new normal for the nation's midsection. The plans include bigger and faster tractors to speed up planting, quick-growing seeds and more extensive use of cover crops and drainage tiles to keep flooding fields intact. But there's problems here too, growers say: The tractors are costly, the short-season seeds have lower yields and cover crops and tiling take time and effort.
The U.S. is willing to suspend the next round of tariffs on an additional $300 billion of Chinese imports while Beijing and Washington prepare to resume trade negotiations, people familiar with the plans said. The decision, which is still under consideration, may be announced after a meeting between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping set for Saturday at a Group of 20 summit in Japan. A broad outline of the Trump-Xi agenda was discussed in a phone call Monday between U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, and his counterpart in Beijing, Vice Premier Liu He.
From 100 feet up in the air, Indiana crop duster Robert Sneberger gets a better view than most of how cornfields are faring. This season, the picture is bleak. Instead of the stretching green stalks he normally sees at this time of year, there's water. The wettest year in memory has stalled planting and stunted crops in the Midwest at a time when farmers are already struggling with low prices and a trade war with China.
Hundreds of barges are stalled on the Mississippi River, clogging the main circulatory system for a farm-belt economy battered by a relentless, record-setting string of snow, rainstorms and flooding. Railways and highways have been closed as well, keeping needed supplies from farmers and others, and limiting the crops sent to market. For Chris Boerm, who manages transportation for Archer-Daniels-Midland Co., one of the nation's largest agricultural commodities dealers, the weather is an unyielding, ever-changing challenge.
The growing threat of an all-out global trade war means Americans may have to fork out more cash at lunchtime. Firehouse Subs will likely bump sandwich prices by 10 cents because of tariffs on to-go packaging it gets from China. The cost is amplified by the fact that about 60% of the company's orders are for takeout or delivery, according to Don Fox, chief executive officer of the 1,100-store chain. "It's a critical item for us," Fox said in an interview.
There has never been a spring planting season like this one. Rivers topped their banks. Levees were breached. Fields filled with water and mud. And it kept raining. It was raining when U.S. farmers, a year into being squeezed out of the world's largest soybean market by the trade war with China, were supposed to start putting down crops. It was raining when President Donald Trump risked starting a feud with Mexico, the biggest buyer of U.S. corn, by threatening to slap tariffs on its exports.
Reliance is a black Angus bull with a long, fluid stride. He has confidence when he walks. It's one of the qualities that led cattlemen to bid up the prized animal to $150,000 during a recent bull sale at Woodhill Farms in Viroqua, Wisconsin.