Hot Topics: Cuban Embargo Will Hurt Grain Trade Despite Continued Engagement

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Recent moves to again harden the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba will block near-term sales of U.S. feed grains as well as stymie long-term market development. Despite these factors, the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) plans to continue its long-time work in Cuba, driven by members’ core belief that trade is critical for improving U.S.-Cuba relations and the welfare of the Cuban people. 

USGC: NAFTA Modernization Efforts Should Seek to Ease Uncertainty For Customers, U.S. Farmers

Concerns about the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) have disrupted relationships with longstanding customers of U.S. grains and caused significant concern in farm country, U.S. Grains Council (USGC) Chairman Chip Councell testified Tuesday to a panel of government officials examining priorities ahead of NAFTA renegotiation talks.

Councell, a farmer from the Eastern Shore of Maryland, spoke at the hearing to provide information and offer personal insights into the impact of NAFTA changes to the U.S. corn, sorghum and barley industries.

U.S. Grains Council Statement On Cuba Announcement

A statement from U.S. Grains Council (USGC) President and CEO Tom Sleight on changes to Cuba policy, announced Friday:

“The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) has worked in Cuba for nearly two decades to help capture grain demand and develop its livestock industry within the confines of U.S. policy. While the announcement today will make our efforts in Cuba more difficult – and almost certainly cost U.S. corn farmers sales in the short term – we have every intention of continuing our work there to build long-term, mutually-beneficial trade.

Lessons From Central American Trade Schools: Investments Set The Pace Of Imports

The U.S Grains Council recently conducted trade schools in three important Central American markets to demonstrate the competitive advantages of U.S. feed grains and co-products.

More sales of U.S. feed grains and co-products are the direct return on investment for U.S. Grains Council (USGC) work in Central America to help industries expand their operations. In June, the Council utilized a series of three trade schools in Honduras, El Salvador and Panama to promote U.S. competitive advantages in meeting the region’s increased demand for feed.

Trade Agreements A Good Deal For U.S. Feed Grains

Trade equals huge success for exports of U.S. feed grains in all forms, particularly to the 20 countries with which the United States has a free trade agreement (FTA). 

Exports of feed grains in all forms to FTA partner countries have increased by nearly 24 percent over the last 10 marketing years (2006/2007 to 2015/2016), according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) trade data and analysis by the U.S. Grains Council (USGC). 

USGC Trains Côte d’Ivoire Poultry Producers

Poultry producers from Côte d’Ivoire at training with Moroccan Poultry Association (FISA).

Increasing U.S. exports is not just a matter of capturing existing market share. Finding new markets creates additional demand, and helping build those markets secures a preference for U.S. feed grains and value-added products. In West Africa, the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) is engaging with training programs poultry producers, establishing a brand-new market for U.S. corn. 

U.S. Grains Council Statement On Announcement Of New Sugar Suspension Agreement

A statement from U.S. Grains Council (USGC) President and CEO Tom Sleight:

"We are pleased to hear that U.S. and Mexican negotiators have reached a new sugar suspension agreement. This milestone is an important one as we work to maintain our existing, robust trade of U.S. grains and related products while awaiting the beginning of NAFTA modernization negotiations.

Sleight Offers Support, Reminds Of Partnership During Talk With Mexican Feed Industry

U.S. farmers, agribusinesses and trade organizations are - and must continue to be - actively engaged in the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). U.S. Grains Council (USGC) President and Chief Executive Officer Tom Sleight conveyed that call to action and offered a strong show of support for the long-standing partnership between U.S. and Mexican agriculture during recent remarks to the Mexican feed industry. 

South American Trade School Helps Build Demand For U.S. Grains

Strong educational programming is a critical element of the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) strategy to build global demand for U.S. corn, sorghum, barley and value-added products. As part of that effort, USGC recently offered trade schools in three cities across Colombia to provide a farmer-to-final product perspective on U.S. grains. 

More than 120 attendees took part in the seminars, gaining insights from farmers, traders and USGC staff on topics including hedging, international freights and consolidation of purchasing pools. 

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