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SORGHUM E-Notes | April 20, 2018

SORGHUM E-Notes | April 20, 2018

SORGHUM E-Notes | April 20, 2018

The voice of the sorghum industry


China Imposes Preliminary Anti-Dumping Tariff on U.S. Sorghum 
The U.S. sorghum industry faced very difficult news Tuesday when China announced a preliminary anti-dumping ruling against U.S. sorghum, imposing a 178.6 percent tariff that went into effect Wednesday. This is part of China’s ongoing investigations into anti-dumping and countervailing duty cases, which were announced Feb. 4, 2018. No ruling has been made yet on the countervailing duty case. National Sorghum Producers immediately responded to the announcement, releasing the following statement Tuesday:

“National Sorghum Producers is deeply disappointed in the preliminary antidumping determination issued Tuesday by China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM). U.S. sorghum is not being dumped in China, and U.S. sorghum producers and exporters have not caused any injury to China’s sorghum industry.

“National Sorghum Producers, alongside our producers, stakeholders and partners, has cooperated fully with China’s antidumping and countervailing duty investigations, including submitting several thousand pages of data demonstrating conclusively that U.S. sorghum is neither dumped nor causing any injury to China. None of this information appears to have been seriously considered or used in today’s preliminary determination, which is neither fair nor appropriate.

“We continue to greatly value our Chinese customers and what has been a win-win business relationship between U.S. sorghum producers and our Chinese partners. Today’s decision in China reflects a broader trade fight in which U.S. sorghum farmers are the victim, not the cause. And U.S. sorghum farmers should not be paying the price for this larger fight.

“Understanding the serious impact this preliminary decision will have on our farmers, NSP and our partners will continue to demonstrate U.S. sorghum farmers are not injuring China. We are evaluating all legal options moving forward.”

NSP is working with the highest levels of the government to provide support to sorghum farmers and were encouraged this week by USDA Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue’s statement saying there is no basis in fact of these actions and he stands united with the American sorghum industry.

“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. 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. As we explore options, we are in communication with the American sorghum industry and stand united with them. 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.”

We look forward to action following his remarks and will continue to remain engaged and keep you informed as we pursue a path forward. In the meantime, NSP and our partner organizations, the Sorghum Checkoff and U.S. Grains Council, are pursuing new markets. We will continue to rely on our domestic ethanol market and customers in other parts of the world, as well.

House Agriculture Committee Marks Up the Farm Bill
The House Agriculture Committee approved H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, or the Farm Bill, after a relatively brief but contentious markup. Although the entire bill was approved along party lines, the focus of the debate was on the nutrition title and particularly on disagreement over the requirement in the bill that able bodied adults without dependents must work or accept free training for work at least 20 hours per week in order to receive SNAP benefits. After Committee passage, the House Farm Bill was applauded by Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) who stated that passing the Farm Bill in the House will be the “next big push”. Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) renewed her opposition due to changes in SNAP that she believes are harmful. According to reports, the House may consider the bill as soon as the week of May 7. Chairman Conaway has said he is determined to round up the votes necessary to pass the bill.  Committee Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-MN) acknowledged that the bill may have the votes to pass the House but that the Senate would not accept the changes to SNAP in a House-Senate conference. During the markup, Chairman Emeritus Frank Lucas (R-OK) offered wise counsel to fellow Committee members, noting that many previous Farm Bills began in the same way in the House but later concluded on a high note, with a strong bipartisan vote on final passage.

NAFTA Talks Continue
Government officials are optimistic that developments in NAFTA renegotiations will continue in the upcoming weeks. NAFTA ministers have scheduled meetings over the next two days. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and Mexican Economy Secretary Ildefonso Guajardo will be meeting in hopes of making progress toward a preliminary NAFTA deal.

Sending Prayers to the Southwest Regions
National Sorghum Producers sends our thoughts and prayers to Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas, Texas and New Mexico farmers, ranchers and first responders as they combat fires across the southwest region. The dry and windy conditions have pushed fires in several directions across rural areas. Thank you to those who have been working tirelessly to minimize damages and keep people and livestock safe.

Sorghum in the Spotlight:
US Sorghum Growers Fear China Tariffs Could Cost Them Dearly – ABC News
U.S. Sorghum Producers Hit With 178.6% In Bonds – Ag Pro
NSP Issues Statement, Refutes Accusations of Sorghum Dumping – SouthWest FarmPress
Looking Ahead To Sorghum’s Future – KGNC
China Fans Trade Dispute with Hefty Deposit on U.S. Sorghum Imports – Reuters
Kansas Farmers React to Chinese Sorghum Tariffs – KWCH12
‘US Sorghum Farmers Should Not be Paying the Price for this Larger Fight’ – Feed Navigator
China Targets American Farmers With Sorghum Surcharges –  The Wall Street Journal
Texas Farmers Hit Hard by Chinese Sorghum Tariffs – San Antonio Express-News
US Sorghum Imports Slapped with 179% Tariff by China – Fox Business
In New Sign of Trade Battle, China Slaps U.S. Sorghum Producers with 179 Percent Deposit – The Washington Post

Upcoming Sorghum Events
April 23-24   NAFB Washington Watch – Washington, D.C.
May 9           NSP Board Applications DueFor a full view of calendar events, visit the NSP website calendar.

Market News – To view this week’s Gulf export grain report, click here.

About Sorghum Notes
Sorghum Notes is a publication of the National Sorghum Producers. NSP represents U.S. sorghum producers and serves as the voice of the sorghum industry from coast to coast through education and legislative and regulatory representation.