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On July 3, 2019, the Government of India (GOI) approved increases in the minimum support prices (MSPs) for the kharif (fall harvested) crops for the 2019/20 season. A delayed and relatively weak 2019 monsoon has affected planting of most grains, including rice and corn, for the upcoming MY2019/20 kharif season. Planting may improve in July based on a forecasted recovery in the monsoon beginning the second week of July. No significant changes in the PSDs of rice, wheat and corn to report from Post’s last report IN9056.
Post forecasts that South Africa could export about 1.0 million tons of corn in the 2019/20 MY, on increased production. On the other hand, post estimates South Africa will have to import about 500,000 tons of yellow corn in the 2018/19 MY to augment local production due to the impact of drought. The total commercial corn crop for the 2018/19 MY is estimated at 10.9 million tons, 13 percent less than the 2017/18 MY’s corn crop of 12.5 million tons. However, South Africa is still in a position to supply 1.0 million tons of corn, mainly white corn, to its neighboring countries where import demand increased after the drought.
In 2018, Spain imported $2.2 billion in agricultural, seafood and forest products from the United States. Spain’s economy will likely continue expanding at a moderate pace and tourist numbers are expected to remain high. As Spain remains one of the fastest growing economies in the Eurozone, the retail sector continues to consolidate its position and importance in the country. Spain has one of the most competitive food processing industries in Europe, which makes this sector an important target for U.S. food ingredient exports.
The EU set a 10 percent target for renewable energy use in transport for 2020, and raised the target to 14 percent in 2030, with advanced biofuels counting double to the target. Taking double-counting into account, biofuels accounted for 7.1 percent of energy use in transport in 2018 and are forecast to increase to 7.3 percent in 2019, mainly supported by elevated imports. Further increase for 2019 is hampered by lagging domestic production of biodiesel in particular. The EU agreed to a seven percent cap for food-based biofuels, which is forecast at 4.6 percent in 2019. For advanced, nonfood based biofuels, the EU set a climbing target of 0.2 percent in 2022 reaching 3.5 percent in 2030. Use of such advanced biofuels, made mostly from agric.
Indonesia’s palm-based biodiesel industry enjoyed a large expansion in 2018 with the beginning of nationwide expansion of B20 to the non-public (Non-PSO) transport sector and a sharp jump in overseas demand. Domestic consumption is set for another large year-over-year increase in 2019 largely due to further expansion of B20 to the Non-PSO transport sector. Exports are forecast to remain elevated near 1.8 billion liters based on continued demand from the EU and China. Indonesia’s fuel ethanol consumption remains virtually zero since 2010 due to lack of financial support and a mandate that has not been enforced.
On June 26, 2019, the State Administration of Market Regulation (SAMR) released the Draft Administrative Measures on Registration of Infant and Young Children Formula Milk Powder Recipes. This draft measure is a proposed revision to the existing Administrative Regulations on Infant Formula Recipes which has been in force since October 1, 2016 (see GAIN report CH16037). The domestic comment period for this revised draft is open until July 25. Comments should be sent to .
Unexpectedly dry weather conditions in Turkey between April and June in many regions led to slightly lower wheat and barley production forecasts for MY 2019/20. The wheat production forecast is 17.75 MMT, barley production forecast is 7.9 MMT and corn remains the same at 5.5 MMT. The Turkish government announced procurement prices for wheat and barley. Considerable Turkish wheat products exports continue to drive demand for imported wheat.
On June 19, 2019, China notified the World Trade Organization of draft standards on maximum residue limits (MRLs) for 120 pesticides as SPS/N/CHN/1148. The deadline for comment submissions is August 18, 2019. The proposed date of entry is yet to be determined. Comments can be sent to China’s SPS Enquiry Point at . Please note that similar to other draft MRLs recently notified to the WTO, these limits will not come into effect until the next revision of the China National Food Safety Standard for Maximum Residue Limits for Pesticides in Foods (GB 2763). Until then, the limits set forth in GB2763-2016 and GB 2763.1-2018 remain in effect.
Pakistan’s purchases of imported soybeans are estimated to reach at 2.0 million metric tons (MMT) during marketing year (MY) 2018/19, 8 percent lower than last year. Reduced import levels reflect SPS and bioengineered regulatory uncertainty followed by the devaluation of Pakistan’s currency compared to USD. Assuming an easing of regulatory and currency concerns, soybean imports during MY 2019/20 are projected at 2.5 MMT. Pakistan imports a steady volume of soybeans to supply the livestock feed industry. Imports of soybean oil and palm oil are up 54 percent and 9 percent, offsetting the supply gap from reduced imports of canola and sunflower seed followed by the lower production of domestic cotton crop.
China’s peach, nectarine, and cherry production are all forecast to increase in MY 2019/20 under normal growing conditions. Demand for high quality stone fruit is on the rise. Cherry imports are expected to increase this year to 19,000 MT. The United States will remain the largest cherry supplier during the summer, but the share is likely to fall given retaliatory tariffs.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) has discontinued the annual Raisins: World Markets and Trade report as well as raisin-related updates to the Production, Supply, and Distribution (PSD) database. USDA’s National Agricultural Statistical Service is no longer reporting U.S. production data for several categories of raisin-type grapes, meaning FAS is no longer able to develop a comprehensive global PSD estimate for raisins.
The Dominican Republic is one of the most dynamic economies in the Caribbean region. With U.S. consumer-oriented product exports reaching $569 million in 2018, the country represents the fifth largest market for such products in Latin America. The Dominican modern retail sector offers a wide variety of U.S. products, is dominated by locally owned companies, and is growing rapidly. However, despite the prominence and growth of local supermarket chains, they only account for 20-25 percent of retail sales. The majority of sales are still in the traditional channel, which includes neighborhood stores (colmados) and warehouses, which offer largely local products.
This report gives an overview of the Italian food retail and distribution sectors and outlines current market trends, including best product prospects. Italy’s food retail sales reached 153.3 billion in 2018, a 2 percent increase from 2017. The Italian retail food market is highly diversified. Hypermarkets, supermarkets, convenience stores, major discount stores, and specialized stores coexist with traditional corner grocery stores and open-air markets.
Health, wellness, and the environment continue to be key purchasing factors for Australian consumers. Portion sizes are increasingly important as consumers want quality over quantity and they expect packaging to be informative and environmentally responsible. The value of food and liquor retailing in Australia grew by 3 percent in 2018 to US$119.7 billion. Supermarket and grocery expenditures continue to account for the bulk of food retailing purchases with a share of 68 percent. The United States accounted for US$1.2 billion or 12 percent of Australia’s total food related imports in 2018. Australia’s economy continues to be strong and the market presents an excellent opportunity for U.S. exporters.
Japan’s Forestry Agency is targeting a domestic wood supply increase from 30 million cubic meters in 2017 to 40 million cubic meters by 2025. The Government of Japan (GOJ) has allocated approximately 120 billion yen ($1.1 billion) each year for the Forest Management Project, which supports thinning and selective logging operations. The new Forest Management System authorizes local governments 1) to allocate profitable forestland to motivated and capable forestry operators when the private owner does not manage the forestland and 2) to manage private forestland that is not profitable. To cover the operational costs for local governments, GOJ developed the Forest Environment Tax to collect an estimated 60 billion yen annually beginning in 202.
On May 10, 2019, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) issued an additional directive to extend the timeline by three months on formulations containing vitamins and mineral combinations. This is the fifth directive issued on regulations relating to nutraceuticals, health supplements, food for special dietary use, food for special medical purposes, functional foods and novel foods.
During CY 2018, Mexico remained the second largest consumer market in Latin America (after Brazil). Consumer expenditure per capita totaled USD $6,461, in 2018, and this expenditure is expected to grow by 1.6 percent in 2019. The retail sector had single-digit sales value growth in 2018 (5 percent on “same stores” and 8.5 percent on total stores), and part of that growth came from inflationary pressures rather than solely sales volume. Major multinationals and local companies will continue to expand throughout Mexico, launching their online platforms to capture new consumers via e-commerce and m-commerce (mobile purchases).

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