In this file:
· On-going Trade War Impacts Farm Loans
· US: Tariffs could cost Nebraska ag producers $943 million in revenues in 2019, Nebraska Farm Bureau study says
· China: Xinhua Headlines: U.S. farmers harvest disappointment as trade war escalates
· US: Retaliatory Tariffs Bite U.S. Farmers, Not The Importers
On-going Trade War Impacts Farm Loans
By RFD-TV News
Sep 03, 2019
With the Chinese trade war and a harsh spring, the American ag economy is struggling. But according to one study, some sectors are hurting even more than others.
Dr. Ernie Goss is an economics professor at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska and he regularly conducts surveys of ag bankers in his region. He says the biggest impact of the trade war is uncertainty across the entire ag sector. The result is some farmers not being able to repay their farm loans, so he outlined what he thinks should happen to get things back on track.
Dr. Goss added that if things don't change there will be more farm loan issues in the near future.
document, plus video report [2:37 min.]
Tariffs could cost Nebraska ag producers $943 million in revenues in 2019, Nebraska Farm Bureau study says
Kearney Hub (NE)
Sep 3, 2019
LINCOLN — Ongoing retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agriculture exports could cost Nebraska producers $943 million in revenues in 2019, according to a new Nebraska Farm Bureau analysis released Tuesday morning.
The estimates incorporate the loss of foreign markets for Nebraska-produced soybeans, corn, pork, sorghum, wheat, alfalfa, dairy products and dried beans.
That’s in addition to the 2018 losses of $695 million to $1.026 billion in farm level income estimated in a previous Nebraska Farm Bureau analysis released last December.
That initial study and the new “Nebraska Farm and Ranch Losses from Retaliatory Tariffs 2019 Estimates” report were done by Nebraska Farm Bureau senior economist Jay Rempe.
They provide an assessment of losses independent of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Market Facilitation Program assistance to offset farmers’ trade-associated losses.
“We appreciate the administration’s ongoing support for America’s farm and ranch families through MFP assistance,” said Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson of Axtell, “but this analysis shows just how critical it is that we resolve the prolonged trade conflicts that have created the tariff pressures.”
The 2019 analysis used USDA data to estimate tariff-related losses on a statewide per-commodity basis and total commodity value losses per county.
“The analysis shows that Nebraska soybean and corn growers will likely see the greatest cumulative losses,” Rempe said. “Soybean producers as a group are projected to lose out on nearly $589 million from retaliatory tariffs and corn producers are estimated to lose roughly $251 million.”
Losses for producers of other commodities are estimated:
- Pork, $40 million;
- Sorghum, $26 million;
- Wheat, $23 million;
- Alfalfa, $9.5 million;
- Dairy, nearly $3 million;
- Dry beans, $2 million.
Export losses on beef, hides and skins, ethanol, and other byproducts of Nebraska’s processing industries were not included in the analysis.
However, Rempe said those losses also affect producers’ bottom lines.
“Counting tariff losses for beef, ethanol and other byproducts could easily push Nebraska farmers and ranchers’ collective (2019) losses from trade tariffs over the $1 billion mark,” he said.
Estimated losses by county show…
Xinhua Headlines: U.S. farmers harvest disappointment as trade war escalates
via China.org.cn (China) - September 4, 2019
DES MOINES, the United States, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- For many U.S. farmers, they had hoped for better businesses and better lives, inspired by catchy slogans such as "Make America Great Again," and grand titles such as "great patriots" bestowed on them.
However, with no end in sight for the U.S.-initiated trade war against its major trade partners, even those who tend to believe in Washington's wisdom in making policies have started to suspect that the promised "greatest harvest" will ever arrive for their struggling farms and ranches.
The gap between hopeful tweets and disappointing grain future prices and multi-layered anxiety is straining the patience of U.S. farmers, some of whom are reconsidering their support as the election season comes.
JUMPING OFF CLIFF
"It's been a roller coaster," Jacob Handsacker told Xinhua on his farm in Radcliffe, Iowa, describing how he felt the rumbling U.S.-China trade tensions.
Standing among rows of soybean plants, which will be ready for harvest in weeks, the young farmer said it had not been an enjoyable ride, as futures prices for his harvest dipped more than a dollar per bushel below production cost.
The slumping price is the direct result of Chinese retaliation tariffs on U.S. goods, including soybeans. For a state that agriculture plays a crucial role, the effect has been crippling.
"88 percent of Iowa landscape is covered by a farm, about 20 percent of our employment and a third of our economy is agriculture related," said Craig Hill, president of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation and also a local farmer.
As the country's leading producer of soybean, corn and pork, Iowa had relied heavily on exports to China, which bought the equivalent to the entire production soybeans of Iowa and Illinois each year, said Hill.
"Price dropped precipitously when the trade war was announced," Hill said, referring to the spring of 2018, when soybean futures prices dropped from 10.36 dollars per bushel to 8.3 in less than two months.
As Washington flip-flopped on trade issues, soybean futures prices dipped to a low of 8 dollars in May, a level unseen in a decade.
Hill said farmers, who sell their crops at a price lower than the futures prices, are losing as much as two dollars per bushel on their soybeans compared with costs.
"We produced about 550 million bushels of soybeans annually, and if we're losing nearly 2 dollars, that's 1 billion a year," Hill said, adding this loss does not count for other farm products, such as corn and pork.
"Once we started on this path, it's like jumping off a cliff," he said.
U.S. farmers, who traditionally side with Republicans in U.S. politics, was a crucial group that sent Trump into the White House in 2016.
Many once believed that U.S. agriculture sector will come out a winner in Washington's trade tensions with China, being awarded with larger access to a market with burgeoning middle class and insatiable demand for meat products.
The optimism may have helped solidify Trump support in the farm belt, but according to experts, the prospect now looks increasingly unclear...
ACCUMULATING DISAPPOINTMENT ...
Retaliatory Tariffs Bite U.S. Farmers, Not The Importers
By Chuck Abbott, Successful Farming
Agriculture.com - 9/4/2019
For nine of the 11 commodities examined by ag lender CoBank, “U.S. producers — not the importing country or its consumers — paid the cost” of retaliatory tariffs. “U.S. farms are taking the brunt of the retaliatory tariffs placed on their products, reflecting the lopsided balance of power between U.S. producers and their importing customers,” concluded three CoBank analysts, who said America will pay a price in the future, too.
“The more time that tariffs are in place, the more time our competitors have to take U.S. market share and cement trade relationships. With the prospect of declining bargaining power, U.S. exporters of most agricultural commodities will face still greater pressure to absorb more — if not all — of the costs of retaliatory tariffs in the future.”
In most cases, said the analysts, foreign countries can easily find alternative suppliers or scale back consumption of goods involved in a trade dispute. The strong dollar and transportation costs also are factors. In the case of soybeans and sorghum, the two U.S. commodities suffering the greatest declines in sales to China, Brazil was a ready replacement for soybeans and Australia was a nearby producer of sorghum. CoBank said the United States “is unlikely to gain back significant export sales in the coming years” in soybean trade with China.
Other U.S. products that saw smaller sales due to tariffs were cotton, pork, wine and whey to China, ham and french fries to Mexico and cooked beef to Canada...