News & Events
After much anticipation, a bill reauthorizing trade promotion authority (TPA) was introduced on April 16 and approved Wednesday by a 20-6 vote of the Senate Finance Committee. The measure will now go to the full Senate for consideration. Companion legislation is currently pending in the House Ways and Means Committee, which also began markup this week.
The U.S.-Peru trade promotion agreement (PTPA) has been instrumental in boosting bilateral trade in food and agricultural products since it went into force on Feb. 1, 2009, including spurring new sales of U.S. commodity corn, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report released April 8.
The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) has released the 2014/2015 Corn Export Cargo Quality Report, the fourth in a series measuring U.S. corn quality by looking at grade factors, moisture, chemical composition and physical composition in corn samples ready to be loaded for overseas shipment.
The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) this week launched a new Facebook page - Growing the 2015 U.S. Corn Crop - as a direct channel for communication between farmers and overseas customers about the condition and quality of the 2015 U.S. corn crop.
“This page helps illustrate this year’s theme of Global Awareness, Global Connections,” said USGC Chairman Ron Gray.
The U.S. Grains Council (USCG) led a delegation to Cuba last week to examine both opportunities and challenges in opening that market to increased imports of U.S. coarse grains and co-products. USGC’s Director of Global Strategies Kurt Shultz reflected on this and more in the below audio clip upon his return.
Chart of Note
This week’s U.S. Grains Council (USGC) Chart of Note illustrates that projected U.S. sorghum exports for the 2014/2015 marketing year are expected to be 10 times larger than just a few years ago, during the 2011/2012 marketing year. This sizeable increase is mostly attributable to China, which has had surging demand since receiving its first bulk shipment on Oct. 13, 2013.
Word from the Ground
By: Tommy Hamamoto, U.S. Grains Council Director in Japan
Beginning April 1, 2015, the Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA) in Japan will be launching a new food labeling framework for foods with health functions. This new framework will allow for foods containing a functional nutrient to be advertised as such on their labels. Beta-glucan, which is contained in some U.S. barley varieties, is a nutrient that falls into this category as a substance lowering blood sugar level, also known as glycemic index.