Soy Briefs09/05/2019 | Soybean Exports, Biodiesel, Policy, Economics
Ankeny, IA — New public opinion research shows a decisive 78 percent of voters in Iowa support expanding biofuel usage in the U.S. through the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). In addition, 77 percent of voters said it’s important to them that the president keep his promises on supporting the RFS.
The Iowa Biodiesel Board (IBB) commissioned the biannual survey on biodiesel awareness and biofuel-related political values.
“The president may think he has Iowa cinched up for 2020, but my vote is 100 percent up for grabs,” said Dave Walton, a farmer from Wilton, Iowa. Walton serves as a director for both the Iowa Soybean Association and IBB. “Although I voted for him last time, President Trump needs to make a serious fourth quarter comeback on biodiesel and trade to earn my vote again.”
Washington, DC — A federal appeals court dismissed a challenge by the National Biodiesel Board. DTN reports the group asked for a review of the EPA's biofuel volumes set in 2017.
They argued the agency didn't have the authority to limit the growth of biofuels markets since the industry was poised to produce more gallons than the proposal. The court dismissed the claims, saying the biodiesel board's objections rested on a policy disagreement.
U.S. biodiesel industry leaders told an Environmental Protection Agency regional administrator in Houston on Wednesday that they want the Trump administration to boost the volume of biodiesel that oil refiners must blend into their fuel each year, two sources familiar with the matter said.
The request came days after President Donald Trump promised to deliver a "giant package" here to U.S. farmers related to ethanol, in response to pressure from the biofuels industry over the administration's expanded use of waivers freeing small refineries from their obligation to blend biofuels.
The biodiesel leaders told Region 6 Administrator Ken McQueen that the biodiesel industry has also been hurt by the waivers, not just the ethanol industry, and an increase in blending mandates would help compensate for that, the sources said.
The agreement was reached in a phone conversation Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chief of the Chinese side of the China-U.S. comprehensive economic dialogue, held upon invitation with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
The two sides agreed to hold the 13th round of China-U.S. high-level economic and trade consultations in early October in Washington and maintain close communication before that.
Working groups of the two sides will conduct consultations in earnest in mid-September to make full preparations for the high-level talks to achieve substantial progress.
Chinese Commerce Minister Zhong Shan, Governor of the People's Bank of China Yi Gang, and Vice Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission Ning Jizhe also took part in the phone conversation.
Washington, DC — The trade war between the U.S. and China is a big reason U.S. farm exports are taking another cut. AgDay TV reports the USDA is slashing its estimates for shipments of soybeans and corn this year.
It says total agricultural exports will decline 6.2 percent from last year to $134.5 billion. If those numbers hold, it would be the lowest since 2016.
The decline in ag exports is forecast to put the U.S. ag trade surplus at $5.2 billion, the smallest surplus since 2006.
Washington, DC — Buoyed by the Trump administration's trade mitigation payments, U.S. farm income is expected to increase for the third straight year, but still will not come close to its 2013 peak.
USDA's Economic Research Service forecast net farm income at $88 billion for 2019, an increase of $4 billion, or 4.8 percent, from 2018. In inflation-adjusted dollars, however, that number is down 35.5 percent from the peak of $136.5 billion in 2013, and also below the 2000-2018 average of $90.1 billion.
Using another measure, net cash farm income is expected to increase $7.6 billion, or 7.3 percent this year. Adjusting for inflation, net cash farm income is forecast to increase $5.8 billion (5.4 percent) from 2018, which would be 4 percent above its 2000-18 average ($108.3 billion).
Washington, DC — The best websites for all things biodiesel, Bioheat® and NBB have a fresh new look! Biodiesel content is more accessible than ever thanks to the National Biodiesel Board's website renovations. The three websites, www.biodiesel.org, www.nbb.org, and www.mybioheat.com, offer abundant information in a clean, modern style. They have also been enhanced with mobile optimization, allowing quick and easy website access from phones or tablets while on the go.
“We are excited to launch our new-look websites after more than a year of work streamlining, customizing, and simplifying our digital presence,” said NBB Communications Director Kaleb Little. “NBB’s websites are often the introduction to biodiesel for fleet managers, government officials, reporters, key influencers and the general public. Keeping this platform clean, up-to-date and user friendly is critical to NBB’s mission of continuously moving the industry forward.”
NBB's family of websites continues to be the premier destination for finding biodiesel material on the internet. While the flagship websites, biodiesel.org and nbb.org, generate over 1.2 million page views annually, NBB manages an additional dozen websites that form the NBB family of websites. NBB is dedicated to ensuring content and delivery mechanisms are top of the line in order to continue delivering helpful information to millions more in the future.
Washington, DC — The nation’s primary inland waterways system–the upper and lower Mississippi River, Arkansas River, Illinois and Ohio Rivers, Tennessee River, and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway–moves grain from America’s heartland to New Orleans for export, transporting about 60 percent of U.S. corn and soybean exports with a combined value of $17.2 billion.
A report from the United States Department of Agriculture used economic modeling to forecast the impacts to the U.S. economy and agricultural competitiveness in global markets. The benefits and costs from varying levels of funding to maintain and improve the country’s inland waterways system were compared over a 10-year and a 25-year period. The report also includes analysis of state-level economic impacts for 12 states with the largest movements of corn and soybeans by barge (Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, and Wisconsin).
Australia — Severe drought has withered Australia's soybean production to the point where one company said it could use almost all of last year's crop in its own soymilk production.
During the previous Millennium Drought, demand for soy-based products was far lower than it is now.
But with demand for plant-based food booming in Australia, this time around the shortage has sent prices soaring. Northern New South Wales farmer and Soy Australia chair, Shane Causley, said the price of soybeans traded on global exchange was around $436 a ton, while Australian soybeans were trading at $1,087 a ton.
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