World Grain - May 2018 - 12
China puts charge on U.S. sorghum imports
WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. - Trade tensions heightened between
the world's top two economies April 18 as China announced a
178.9% anti-dumping deposit on the value of U.S. sorghum shipments to the country.
Traders said the higher-than-expected deposit would essentially
halt U.S. sorghum shipments to China for now, and raise prices
of feed alternatives, such as barley and corn. The announcement
comes just weeks after China threatened a tariff on the grain,
Chinese liquor baijiu.
The announcement from China's Commerce Ministry on April
17 said the deposits are temporary during the government's ongoing
on the matter.
China launched the investigation two months ago in retaliation
to an aggressive U.S. trade stance that included tariffs on Chinesemade washing machines and solar panels. China said U.S. sorghum
imports were being dumped in the country, leaving its domestic industry "substantially damaged." The ministry said the United States
exported 317,000 tonnes of sorghum to China in 2013 and by 2017
shipped 4.76 million tonnes, harming Chinese farmers as the domestic price of the grain fell.
U.S. Grains Council records show the United States exported 4.8
million tonnes of sorghum to China in 2016-17, up 217% from 1.9
million tonnes in 2012-13, but down 42% from a recent peak of 8.9
million tonnes in 2014-15. Sorghum accounted for 57% of all U.S.
agricultural exports to China in 2016-17.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue in a statement April
18 rejected Beijing's claims and highlighted China's ability to choose
its trading partners.
"The international grain market is about the freest market there
is, and it is ludicrous to even mention 'dumping,' because China can
buy product from anywhere they choose," he said. "This is clearly a
political decision by the Chinese, and we reject their premise. Our
sorghum producers are the most competitive in the world, and we do
not believe there is any basis in fact for these actions."
Secretary Perdue reiterated the Trump administration's stance on
trade practices and the goal of protecting American agricultural producers, including growers who produce sorghum.
"As we explore options, we are in communication with the
American sorghum industry and stand united with them," Perdue
said. "The fact remains that China has engaged in unfair trade practices over decades, and President Trump is correct in holding them
accountable. We remain committed to protecting American agricultural producers in the face of retaliatory measures by the Chinese."
U.S. per capita flour consumption holds steady
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in 2017 was 131.8 pounds, nearly unchanged from 131.7 pounds
in 2016, according to data published by the U.S. Department of
133 pounds in 2015, 134.7 pounds in 2014 and 135 pounds in 2013.
While 2017 ended a three-year streak of per capita consumption deFOLQHV WKH ¿JXUHV LQ ERWK DQG ZHUH WKH VPDOOHVW VLQFH
130 pounds in 1990. The recent peak for per capita consumption was
seven years later - 147 pounds in 1997.
Flour production in 2017 was a record 426.396 million cwts, up
0.6% from 423.846 million cwts in 2016. The increase was smaller
than the 0.77% increase in the U.S. population in 2017 to 327.997
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keep pace with population growth was offset by a 16% decrease in
May 2018 / World Grain / www.World-Grain.com