Chinese Imports, SBA Loans and More
China imported 6.714 MMT of soybeans during April, a 926,000 MT (12%) retreat from year-ago, according to preliminary Chinese customs data. At this point in the season, China is focused on securing South American supplies and rains delayed shipments from Brazil. China’s overall exports surprised the market by rising 3.5% from year-ago in April after dropping 6.6% in March. Exports were expected to dive 18.8%. The increase was likely aided by the shipping of medical products.
U.S. Trade Representative Bob Lighthizer and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will hold discussions next week on the Phase 1 trade agreement between the two countries. Under the agreement, the two were to meet every six months. Earlier, the president indicated the trade deal is “secondary” to its handling of the coronavirus and he will consider retaliatory measures if the country does not hold up its end of the bargain.
Global food prices fell 3.4% from March to April, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nation’s food price index. The index dropped 5.7 points to 165.5 points, hitting the lowest level since January 2019.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) said yesterday that it has processed $183.5 billion in loans out of the $320 billion Congress authorized for the second round of the Paycheck Protection Program. The agency said on its website that it had processed over 2.4 million applications.
At a White House event attended by Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue and Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, President Trump said he has asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) to look into allegations meatpacking industry may have broke antitrust law, noting that slaughterhouses have been lowering prices paid to farmers as meat prices rose.
Cattle Kill numbers have improved a bit this week, with Wednesday’s kill up 10,000 head from last week, though that is still just 69% of year-ago levels. Beef prices continue to soar with panic buying in full swing amid headlines about limits on meat purchases at major grocers and fast food joints. Meanwhile Slaughter picked up to 312,000 head on Wednesday as more shuttered plants reopened. That’s a 46,000-head increase from last week, though Wednesday’s kill was still down 38% from year-ago.
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