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

How To Score More Bred Cows

(IARN) — “HOW DO WE GET MORE COWS BRED?” George Perry, of South Dakota State University, frequently mulls over this question. Perry, a beef reproduction specialist, has studied reproductive physiology for nearly two decades. Read more

U.S. Pork Industry Requests Additional ASF-Prevention Measures

(IARN) — Thanks to continued vigilance by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the U.S. pork industry, the United States has so far prevented an outbreak of African swine fever (ASF), an animal disease affecting only pigs with no human health or food safety risks. To ensure the U.S. swine herd remains free of the disease, the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and 30 state pork producer associations today asked Agriculture Secretary Perdue to take additional measures, including restricting imports of organic soy products for animal feeds from all ASF-positive countries. Read more