Canadian beef shut out of some markets after mad cow

Canadian beef shut out of some markets after mad cow

Global hotspots: Paraguay's next soy crop seen up 8%, Brazil truck strike continues, soybean shipments affected

Canada's latest case of mad cow disease prompted a few countries to ban beef from the world's 10th largest producer.

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The closed markets account for about 3% of Canadian trade, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said. Canada typically exports about 30% of its beef production, while the United States ships out about 11%.

South Korea, Taiwan, Peru and Belarus imposed trade restrictions on Canadian beef and beef products after Canada confirmed a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease, this month, according to a Reuters report.

Global hotspots: Paraguay's next soy crop seen up 8%, Brazil truck strike continues, soybean shipments affected

Canada reported its first case of mad cow disease in May 2003 and has had other cases since then. The latest case is the first since 2011.

Paraguay's next soy crop seen up 8% - Attache

Paraguay is forecast to harvest 9.2 million metric tons of soybeans this year, up 8% from the 2014 crop, according a USDA attache report.

The increase is based on a projected 9% rise in planted acreage. The 2015/2016 crop year starts in March and the attache said the larger crop should result in increased exports of soybean meal and soybean oil, while soybean shipments should hold near unchanged at 4.2 million metric tons.

Crush capacity has more than doubled in recent years as the processed products provide a better return. That has spurred investment in processing plants by the government and by foreign companies. About half of the soybeans are now exported, compared with three quarters a few years ago.

Brazil truck strike continues, soybean shipments affected

Brazilian truckers continued blocking roads in key agricultural areas this week as government negotiators failed to reach a deal to end the work stoppage, which is in its second week.

The truckers are protesting high costs of fuel and tolls. Government negotiators made some offers late on Wednesday, but the strike continued, according to a Reuters report.

Brazil is harvesting a huge soybean crop and the strike has slowed the amount of soybeans reaching export points. Trucks haul about 60% of the crop from fields to ports.

The strike pushed U.S. soybean prices past $10 a bushel for the first time since January on ideas foreign buyers may to turn to U.S. suppliers if Brazil cannot deliver.

West Coast port operations return to normal

Operations at West Coast ports have returned to normal after a contract settlement was reached last week with port workers, USDA said this week.

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The contract was between the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. The tentative agreement on a new five-year contract covered workers at all West Coast ports, USDA said.

The deal was reached with assistance from U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez and Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Deputy Director Scot Beckenbaugh. Detail of the agreement were not released pending ratification by both parties.

Exporters of a variety of agricultural commodities estimate it could take as long as two months to clear out all of the container backlog at the ports, USDA said. Union Pacific and BNSF railroads are both gradually restoring service to the West Coast ports.

TAGS: USDA Soybean
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