Crops Surge as China Pledge on U.S. Farm Goods Is a `Lifesaver'


Millie Munshi and Michael Hirtzer, Bloomberg

via Yahoo Finance - September 13, 2019


(Bloomberg) -- U.S. agriculture markets are finally catching a break as signs that China will once again seek American exports spark big weekly gains for corn, soybeans, cotton and hogs.


China is encouraging companies to buy U.S. farm products, which it will exclude from added tariffs. Prices of many crops are heading for their best week since at least June on optimism that Beijing and Washington are inching toward a deal to resolve their year-long trade spat. The dispute has undercut farmer profits and boosted debt levels in the U.S. as Chinese demand fell off.


There was evidence of fresh Chinese buying Friday as the U.S. government reported 204,000 tons of soybeans sold to the Asian nation, the first such announcement in more than two months.


“We are hopeful that this apparent gesture of goodwill by China leads not only to more sales of U.S. pork, but that it contributes to a resolution of U.S.-China trade restrictions,” said David Herring, a North Carolina hog farmer and president of trade group National Pork Producers Council.


Over the last week, the U.S. and China have taken multiple small steps to ease trade tensions. If the sides reach a deal, it would be a huge relief for American farmers who have also been struggling with extreme weather that had hampered their planting efforts.


“If this China deal gets signed, it could just change things overnight,’’ Jere Solvie, a hog, soybean and corn farmer in Hancock, Minnesota, said by telephone.


While hog futures have surged this week, cash prices in the Midwest still were slumping. Solvie said that “hopefully” gains in the futures market will lead a turnaround in the cash price.


“That will be a lifesaver because everybody is scraping the bottom of the barrel here,’’ he said.


USDA Report ...


Cotton Soars ...


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