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With a young and growing middle-class and rising incomes, food and beverage processing in Vietnam has shown strong growth in the past five years. The increased consumption of packaged food products, ready-to-eat-meals, bakery products, and sauces is driving the demand for ingredients. Promising food processing ingredients to export to Vietnam include; minced pork, poultry products, beef, processed fruits, tree nuts, peanuts, and potatoes.
Biodiesel production in 2019 is expected to increase by roughly 36 percent (compared to the previous year) to 1.69 billion liters due to increases in domestic use and exports. The Government of Malaysia (GOM) roll-out of a 10 percent blend mandate early in 2019 boosts year-over-year domestic use from 660 million liters to an estimated record 940 million liters. Malaysian exports of biodiesel in 2019 are projected at a record 750 million liters as a result of robust demand from the European Union and China.
Among Japanese food industry sectors, the Home Meal Replacement (HMR) sector, or Sozai in Japanese, has shown the highest rate of growth in recent years, with sales reaching a record ¥10.25 trillion ($95 billion) in 2018. Rising demand for fast, convenient meals has contributed to the market growth. Consumers demand for high-quality food and a unique eating experience coupled with intense competition make the Sozai market dynamic. U.S. ingredient suppliers are well positioned to compete in many product categories, provided they are willing to adjust to market demands.
China’s marketing year (MY) 2019/20 production of deciduous fruit, especially apples and pears, is expected to rebound sharply from the previous year’s low levels. While production gains will boost the country’s fruit exports, apple, pear, and table grape imports will continue to grow given strong demand for high quality products. However, U.S. fruit exports will decrease following the additional tariffs on almost all U.S. agricultural products. The country’s production of apples, pears, and table grapes are forecast at 41 million metric tons (MMT), 17 MMT and 10.8 MMT, respectively, in MY 2019/20.
Japan’s annual biofuel target of 500 million liters (crude oil equivalent) for the transport sector was reached on time in 2017 and continues unchanged this year. To achieve the biofuel target which remains unchanged through 2022, Japan mostly imports bio-Ethyl Tert-Butyl Ether (ETBE), but a small portion of the requirement is covered by domestic ETBE produced from imported bioethanol. Following a 2018 revision of environmental standards for bioethanol, Japan began importing ETBE made from U.S. corn ethanol for the first time in July 2019, but its ethanol blend rate remains among the lowest of countries with a fuel ethanol program. A number of very small-scale biodiesel plants still operate but the market is virtually non-existent and has n.
South Africa`s production of apples, pears and table grapes is forecast to grow in the 2019/20 MY, based on available irrigation water following improved 2019 winter rainfall, normal weather conditions, and new orchards coming into full production. South Africa is self-sufficient and only imports small quantities of deciduous fruits to fulfill niche markets or to satisfy domestic demand during the off-season when supply is limited. Due to phytosanitary restrictions, the United States only has limited market access to export apples from areas that are free of Rhagoletis pomonella (apple maggot). The United States and South Africa are negotiating to expand this market access to include areas regulated for apple maggot in the United States.
Mexican apple production is expected to rebound in marketing year (MY) 2019/20, recovering from extensive weather damage that affected supplies last MY. Mexican imports of U.S. apples are expected to return to more stable levels in MY 2019/20, following the removal of the 20 percent tariff in May 2019 that was in place for nearly a year, as a retaliatory measure against U.S. tariffs on Mexican steel and aluminum. Mexican imports fell nearly 16 percent during this period in comparison to MY 2017/18, which can be attributable to both the tariff as well as tight supplies out of Washington State due to adverse weather. Mexican consumers reamin price sensitive purchasers of fruit, and with more favorable apple prices for MY 2019/20, consumption
In marketing year 2019/20, Korea’s pear production is projected to increase by 3.4 percent to 210,000 metric tons due to increased yield as a result of better weather conditions compared to the previous year. However, pear planted area is projected to continue a downward trend, decreasing about 7 percent to 9,625 hectares from the previous marketing year. This will be the Korean pear industry’s first time ever below 10,000 hectares, with pears becoming increasingly less attractive to producers as consumer demand declines and alternative crops appear more profitable. Korea’s pear exports are projected to rebound by 7.3 percent (about 2,000 metric tons) to 29,000 metric tons from the previous year because of the increasing popularity of Korea.
Russia’s grain crop in MY19/20 will be abundant, particularly for barley and corn. FAS Moscow decreased its 2019/20 total wheat production forecast by five million metric tons (MMT) to 74 MMT reflecting official and unofficial data from the Russian Government and industry experts following initial results of the 2019 harvest. Dryness in some areas versus too much rain in others have reduced expected yields. However, overall grain production is expected to be higher than MY18/19. Recent publications by the Russian Government show an increase in quality of milling wheat based on protein and gluten content. The recent opening of the Saudi Arabia market for Russian wheat could modestly expand Russia’s already large market share in the Middle Ea.
Washington, Nov. 5, 2019 – U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney issued the following statement following the endorsement last week of a resolution emphasizing the need for science-based agricultural regulations to facilitate global agricultural trade. "We have an opportunity to support the agricultural producers in the Western Hemisphere – and across the world – by committing to science-based standards and policies that ensure the quality and safety of our food while also facilitating international trade.
Washington, D.C., November 5, 2019 – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue will lead a trade mission to Mexico November 6-8 to forge new opportunities with U.S. agriculture’s largest bilateral trading partner and second-largest export market. The Secretary will be joined by Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney and more than 100 industry and government representatives. On Thursday, November 7, Secretary Perdue will hold a press call regarding the trade mission. Accompanying Secretary Perdue are the heads of six state departments of agriculture: Bryan Hurlburt of Connecticut, Celia Gould of Idaho, Joseph Bartenfelder of Maryland, Chris Chinn of Missouri, Doug Goehring of North Dakota, and Derek Sandison.
Large carryover stocks and additional imports under recently implemented trade agreements should temper growth of Canadian milk, butter, cheese, and skim milk powder production in 2020. With butter stocks 15 percent above targeted levels in August 2019, FAS/Canada expects skim milk powder production to remain lower through 2020, driving skim milk powder export volumes down considerably from the 2017 record high.
The United States will remain the largest exporter of fresh apples, pears, and table grapes to the Canadian market in MY 2019/20. FAS/Ottawa forecasts Canadian production of apples to be down 4 percent in MY 2019/20 due to adverse weather events. Canadian production of pears and table grapes is forecast to decrease 2 and 9 percent, respectively. The United States market share of Canadian apple imports will see growth over MY 2018/19 numbers. U.S. pear exports to Canada will also see growth while U.S. fresh table grape exports are forecast to decline.
FAS Paris obtained a waiver from the French Ministry of Agriculture that allowed the U.S. foundation Wreath Across America to import into France 10,000 U.S. sourced balsam pine wreaths with an approximate value of USD 145,000. On December 1st, 2018, the wreaths were laid on each grave at the Normandy American Cemetery overlooking D-Day beaches.
On October 16, 2018, French President Emmanuel Macron named Senator Didier Guillaume as the new French Minister for Agriculture and Food. He replaces the previous Minister of Agriculture, Stephane Travert, who had been in the cabinet about 16 months. Minister Guillaume has strong connections to organic agriculture, as his region of Drome is one of the leading producers of organics in France.
Due to relatively attractive local market prices after the drought conditions of the previous season, Post projects South Africa to increase corn planting by at least 10 percent in the 2019/20 MY. As a result South Africa should be able to export about 1.1 million tons of corn in the 2019/20 MY under normal climatic conditions. For the 2018/19 MY, Post estimates South Africa’s corn exports into the region could reach 1.0 million tons, mainly white corn. On the other hand, Post estimates South Africa will have to import about 500,000 tons of yellow corn to meet increased local demand.

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