What Could Dean Foods Merger With DFA Mean?

IABRN — In November of last year, Dean Foods announced it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company announced back on November 12th that it was looking at a possible acquisition by the Dairy Farmers of America (DFA). Read more

Pork Pessimistic On EU; Beef Optimistic On China

(IARN) — U.S. pork producers don’t seem optimistic about a potential trade deal with the European Union (EU) coming together anytime soon. Nick Giordano is the Vice President of Global Government Affairs for the National Pork Producers Council. Giordano says that he’s “very skeptical” that the two sides will even reach a mini agreement in the weeks ahead. He feels the real goal should be a comprehensive trade pact covering all sectors of agriculture. “It’s outrageous that a market of that size, with that level of income, is so closed to us,” Giordano says. “They’re stealing jobs from us because of their protectionism and that’s unacceptable.” The VP says there will be widespread support in the U.S. agriculture community for the Trump Administration to take tough action against the EU if there are no concessions regarding a more open EU market. Read more

Markets Plunge As Coronavirus Becomes Global Issue

(IARN) — Grain markets on Monday recorded sharp declines. A market analyst outlines the underlying reason.

Money fled most commodity and equity assets as COVID-19, or Wuhan Coronavirus spread into South Korea, Iran and Italy, reports Brugler Marketing and Management. Read more

U.S. Meat Export Federation Focuses On Saudi Arabia, Middle East

(IARN) — U.S. Meat Export Federation officials concluded talks with food professionals at Gulfood, the Middle East’s largest food trade show.

Dan Halstrom, USMEF president and Chief Executive Officer, speaks to opportunities for United States beef in the region.

This year’s event showcased opportunities for United States beef exports, says Halstrom.

“Specifically to the Middle Eastern region, it’s primarily a combination of high-end cuts for food service,” Halstrom said. “There is a fast-casual segment, (which) has been emerging for some time now. (That’s) demand for ground beef, made from sub-primals like briskets and chucks. The primary markets would be the United Arab Emirates with Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Other markets within that immediate region, big for U.S. exporters, would be Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain.”

U.S. Meat Export Federation officials enhance their focus on Saudi Arabia, an export market which offers great potential. Market restrictions currently hinder access to the country, which shows increasing demand in the foodservice sector.

“Saudi Arabia would be the largest target market in the region, and we have access issues we’re trying to work through,” Halstrom said. “We’re working with the government. Under Secretary for Trade Ted McKinney was at Gulfood. We had meetings with him and pointed out that we needed to have a focus on improving access for U.S. beef in Saudi Arabia. Hopefully we can see gains there because there’s a lot of interest from our exporters to increase business in Saudi Arabia.”

U.S. Meat Export Federation staff based in Saudi Arabia indicate modernations, such as allowing women to drive and go out in public, have benefitted the food service sector.

Story and image courtesy of the Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network.

President Trump Promises Farmers More Trade Aid If Needed

(IARN) — President Donald Trump took to Twitter again to talk trade. There have been questions on the possibility of more trade aid distribution this year, with the president seemingly saying it’s a possibility. “If our formally targeted farmers need additional aid until such time as the trade deals with China, Mexico, Canada, and others fully kick in, that aid will be provided by the federal government, paid for out of the massive tariff money coming into the USA,” he said in a Friday Tweet. However, some reports say Trump isn’t technically accurate when he says the aid will come out of tariff income. The money comes from the Commodity Credit Corporation, which was set up back in the 1930s as a way to distribute aid to farmers. The CCC is a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It has a line of credit set up at the Treasury Department that Congress replenishes. Read more