Weekly Roundups

The Week in Agribusiness: Flaming Trade Conflicts

By Jan Hogewoning | Fri, 12/06/2019 - 11:30

China and the US remain entangled in a high-stakes trade conflict. China continues to suffer from the swine fever crisis, while Trump sees no problem in picking another fight with the Europeans. USMCA talks seem to be moving along in better spirits, though progress remains unclear. The Mexican meat and coffee markets could be presented with opportunities thanks to changes in world trade conditions and an innovative development.

Ready for more? Here are the week’s headlines:


Agro-sector in Mexico and Latin America

A worldwide shortage of high quality arabica beans is raising the price of coffee beans from Latin America.

Russia is restricting beef imports from seven plants in Argentina and Paraguay after finding a banned additive in several shipments.

Brazil will see agricultural growth in 2020 due to more meat exports. Meanwhile, Brazilian prosecutors are investigating chicken processors for evading food safety inspections


Trade Disputes and Negotiations

USMCA negotiations between Washington and representatives of the Mexican government are still stuck. However, Deputy minister for North America Jesus Seade expects the treaty will be ratified this year.

After concluding that France’s new digital service tax could harm US tech companies, the US government said it may put punitive duties of 100 percent on French imports totaling US$2.4 billion. Among the taxed products are some protected by denomination of origin, including champagne and French cheese. French wine makers have asked their government for help.

US President Donald Trump stated on Thursday that meetings with China are still going regarding trade disputes. According to the president, “meetings are going well.”

China, on the other hand, says tariffs should be reduced before phase one of the trade deal can be concluded.

Chinese restaurants are suffering from the scarcity of pork supply as swine fever wreaks havoc. Meanwhile, the US pork industry eyes the US$25 billion Chinese market as a possible tariff-free destination.


New innovations

Beyond Meat will start selling its plant-based burgers at Costco's US stores.

Enveritas and IBM signed an agreement to pilot the AgroPad. This sampling technology allows chemical analysis to be performed on soil, remotely and fast. The plan is to pilot the product among coffee farmers in Latin America and Africa.

Carmaker Ford is using McDonalds coffee chaff rest product in car manufacturing. This could lead to significantly lighter cars, as well as savings in energy during the molding of auto parts.

Jan Hogewoning Jan Hogewoning Journalist and Industry Analyst