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SORGHUM E-Notes | April 27, 2018

SORGHUM E-Notes | April 27, 2018

SORGHUM E-Notes | April 27, 2018

The voice of the sorghum industry


China Trade Negotiations in the Near Future? 
During a joint appearance at the White House with French President Emmanuel Macron, President Trump announced that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, National Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, trade policy adviser Peter Navarro and several staff members will be traveling to China in upcoming weeks for a high-level trade delegation. These delegations will hopefully dismiss the need for additional tariffs on Chinese products. “I think we’ve got a very good chance of making a deal,” Trump said.

Sorghum at Sea
The 178.6 percent tariffs on U.S. sorghum headed to China have caused vessels carrying sorghum to be rerouted to other locations. So far, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Spain, Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines have taken some of the shipments. National Sorghum Producers, United Sorghum Checkoff Program and the U.S. Grains Council are working with different locations across the globe. USGC has taken the opportunity to educate other countries on feeding guides for grain sorghum. The world demand for feed grains and protein remains strong. “This tit for tat has to stop, and talks to find reasonable and lasting solutions must begin, for the good of U.S. agriculture and the customers we have spent decades working to win as loyal buyers,” said Tom Sleight, president and CEO of the U.S. Grains Council.

Secretary Purdue Testifies at the Senate Ag Hearing 
On Tuesday, Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) and the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry held a hearing on the rural economy. Chairman Roberts noted that farmers and ranchers are being used as pawns in the tit-for-tat trade war with China. Specifically on China’s recent move on U.S. sorghum to post a 178.6 percent deposit on the value of sorghum shipments into the country, which operate as a tariff and have cut off U.S. sorghum trade. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue testified at the hearing, telling the committee he and the President are aware of the financial situation American farmers face and are working to employ the proposals of the Interagency Task Force on Rural Prosperity. Perdue said the president understands there is going to be anxiety and uncertainty when stabilizing trade, however,  he, President Trump, and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer believe these actions will benefit the entire country in the long run. The committee agrees trade balances need to be restored with our trade partners on many levels, but urge Perdue to protect U.S. agriculture throughout the process. Perdue assured the committee that he is advocating to make agriculture a priority when holding trading partners accountable for their unfair trade actions. Both Secretary Perdue and the committee members agreed in pushing to keep ag markets open.

Potential Farm Bill Timeline 
The timeline of getting the House farm bill to the floor remains tentative. House Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX) would like H.R. 2 to be on the floor as soon as possible in early May. Chairman Conaway plans to build more support after Congress returns from a week-long recess on May 7. Senate discussions indicate the Senate Ag Committee could begin mark-up in early May.

NSP Accepting Applications for Board Directors
National Sorghum Producers is accepting applications from candidates who wish to serve on the board of directors. Candidates for the board must be a member of the National Sorghum Producers and have a passion for working on behalf of sorghum growers through lobbying and fundraising activities. The NSP board is not limited to growers, and there is no experience necessary to apply. If you have a desire to improve the sorghum industry through one of the four available leadership positions, NSP encourages you to apply. Applications are available at and will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. CST on May 9, 2018. Contact Debra Lloyd at 806-749-3478 if you have any questions.

Crop Update
By April 22, two percent of this year’s sorghum crop was planted, three percentage points behind of  last year and even with the 5-year average. Planting was most active in Mississippi, where progress advanced 12 percentage points during the week to reach 30 percent.

Sorghum in the Spotlight: 
U.S. sorghum initially bound for China diverted to Saudi Arabia – Reuters
Sorghum Report: A China Update – KGNC
Sorghum Ships Change Course – Delta Farm Press
Update 3-China-Bound U.S. Sorghum Diverted to Saudi Arabia, Japan – Successful Farming
Sorghum Trade Feeling Affects of Trade Spat – Ag Pro
Local Farmers Expect Chinese Sorghum Tariffs to Sting – KRISTV
China’s Sorghum Importers Plead for Help on Tariff as Trade Tumult Deepens – Reuters
Trump’s Fightin’ Words on Tariffs and Trade Wars Get Real for Kansas Farmers – The Kansas City Star

Upcoming Sorghum Events
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.