Trade Complaints in the Rise

According to government figures cited in the Washington Post, trade complaints by U.S. agriculture and industry against foreign competitors are soaring under President Trump to levels not seen in more than 15-years. There have been 79 new trade investigations since January, including disputes over Argentine biodiesel and Spanish olives, making 2017 the busiest year for anti-dumping and subsidy cases at the U.S. Commerce Department since 2001. American Farm Bureau trade adviser Dave Salmonsen…

Salmonsen says more trade means more cases, and the Trump team is bringing more government cases directly, while working on some disputes like dairy with Canada within existing deals like NAFTA. He says 2018 could be a “very active year” for trade cases…

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Cattle feeding profits declined $35 per head last week, leaving average closeouts with profits of $65. The decline was a result of higher prices paid for the cattle as feeder cattle. Break even prices rose nearly $3 per cwt., according to the Sterling Beef Profit Tracker.

The 5-area direct cash price was steady at $119.84 per cwt., while break evens increased to $115.11 per cwt. The cost of feeder cattle calculated against last week’s marketings climbed $3.02 per cwt., while feed costs increased $9 per head, according to meatingplace.com.
Beef packer margins declined $42 per head to average $44. The beef cutout dropped $2 per cwt. to $197.58. The Beef and Pork Profit Trackers are calculated by Sterling Marketing Inc.

Average feed costs totaled $288 per head, while cattle placed on feed last week have a projected breakeven of $112 per cwt.

For farrow-to-finish pork producers, Sterling projects 2017 profit margins to average $20 per head, compared to $5 per head last year. Pork packers are projected to earn $25 per head in 2017, up slightly from $24 profit per head in 2016.


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