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European Market for Citrus Fruit Jams and Purees – France Benefits from the Highest Export Price ($4,292 per tonne)

european market

European Market for Citrus Fruit Jams and Purees – France Benefits from the Highest Export Price ($4,292 per tonne)

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘EU – Citrus Fruit Jams, Marmalades, Jellies, Purees Or Pastes – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends And Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

The market revenue for citrus fruit preserves (jams, marmalades, jellies, purees, and pastes) in the European Union amounted to $319M in 2018, growing by 8% against the previous year. This figure reflects the total revenues of producers and importers (excluding logistics costs, retail marketing costs, and retailers’ margins, which will be included in the final consumer price). In general, citrus fruit preserves consumption, however, continues to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2014 with an increase of 22% against the previous year. The level of citrus fruit preserves consumption peaked at $331M in 2008; however, from 2009 to 2018, consumption failed to regain its momentum.

Consumption By Country in the EU

The countries with the highest volumes of citrus fruit preserves consumption in 2018 were the UK (26K tonnes), Italy (24K tonnes) and Spain (18K tonnes), with a combined 56% share of total consumption. France, the Netherlands, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Romania, Ireland, Poland and Hungary lagged somewhat behind, together accounting for a further 33%.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of citrus fruit preserves consumption, amongst the main consuming countries, was attained by Poland, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, the UK ($83M), Italy ($60M) and France ($42M) appeared to be the countries with the highest levels of market value in 2018, with a combined 58% share of the total market. These countries were followed by Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Romania, Germany, Hungary and Poland, which together accounted for a further 32%.

The countries with the highest levels of citrus fruit preserves per capita consumption in 2018 were Ireland (591 kg per 1000 persons), Italy (412 kg per 1000 persons) and Belgium (410 kg per 1000 persons).

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of citrus fruit preserves per capita consumption, amongst the main consuming countries, was attained by Poland, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Production in the EU

In 2018, approx. 125K tonnes of citrus fruit jams, marmalades, jellies, purees or pastes were produced in the European Union; rising by 13% against the previous year. Overall, citrus fruit preserves production, however, continues to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2014 when production volume increased by 29% y-o-y. The volume of citrus fruit preserves production peaked at 138K tonnes in 2007; however, from 2008 to 2018, production stood at a somewhat lower figure.

In value terms, citrus fruit preserves production amounted to $313M in 2018 estimated in export prices. The total output value increased at an average annual rate of +1.1% over the period from 2007 to 2018; however, the trend pattern remained consistent, with somewhat noticeable fluctuations throughout the analyzed period. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2008 when production volume increased by 22% against the previous year. In that year, citrus fruit preserves production attained its peak level of $338M. From 2009 to 2018, citrus fruit preserves production growth remained at a lower figure.

Production By Country in the EU

The countries with the highest volumes of citrus fruit preserves production in 2018 were the UK (26K tonnes), Spain (24K tonnes) and Italy (24K tonnes), with a combined 59% share of total production. France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, the Czech Republic, Romania, Denmark, Hungary and Poland lagged somewhat behind, together accounting for a further 32%.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of citrus fruit preserves production, amongst the main producing countries, was attained by Belgium, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Exports in the EU

In 2018, approx. 36K tonnes of citrus fruit jams, marmalades, jellies, purees or pastes were exported in the European Union; surging by 7.5% against the previous year. The total export volume increased at an average annual rate of +2.7% from 2007 to 2018; however, the trend pattern indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded over the period under review. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2017 with an increase of 14% y-o-y. Over the period under review, citrus fruit preserves exports attained their peak figure in 2018 and are expected to retain its growth in the near future.

In value terms, citrus fruit preserves exports stood at $87M (IndexBox estimates) in 2018. The total export value increased at an average annual rate of +1.9% from 2007 to 2018; however, the trend pattern remained relatively stable, with only minor fluctuations throughout the analyzed period. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2008 when exports increased by 15% y-o-y. Over the period under review, citrus fruit preserves exports reached their peak figure in 2018 and are expected to retain its growth in the immediate term.

Exports by Country

The exports of the eight major exporters of citrus fruit jams, marmalades, jellies, purees or pastes, namely Spain, the UK, Germany, France, Denmark, Italy, Belgium and Ireland, represented more than two-thirds of total export.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of exports, amongst the main exporting countries, was attained by Spain, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, France ($19M), the UK ($15M) and Spain ($15M) appeared to be the countries with the highest levels of exports in 2018, with a combined 55% share of total exports.

In terms of the main exporting countries, Spain recorded the highest growth rate of exports, over the last eleven years, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Export Prices by Country

The citrus fruit preserves export price in the European Union stood at $2,436 per tonne in 2018, increasing by 2.5% against the previous year. Overall, the citrus fruit preserves export price, however, continues to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2013 when the export price increased by 15% y-o-y. In that year, the export prices for citrus fruit jams, marmalades, jellies, purees or pastes reached their peak level of $3,042 per tonne. From 2014 to 2018, the growth in terms of the export prices for citrus fruit jams, marmalades, jellies, purees or pastes remained at a somewhat lower figure.

Prices varied noticeably by the country of origin; the country with the highest price was France ($4,292 per tonne), while Denmark ($1,750 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by France, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Imports in the EU

In 2018, the amount of citrus fruit jams, marmalades, jellies, purees or pastes imported in the European Union amounted to 32K tonnes, going up by 11% against the previous year. The total import volume increased at an average annual rate of +2.9% from 2007 to 2018; however, the trend pattern indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded throughout the analyzed period. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2017 with an increase of 36% against the previous year. The volume of imports peaked in 2018 and are likely to continue its growth in the immediate term.

In value terms, citrus fruit preserves imports stood at $69M (IndexBox estimates) in 2018. The total import value increased at an average annual rate of +1.3% over the period from 2007 to 2018; however, the trend pattern remained consistent, with only minor fluctuations being observed throughout the analyzed period. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2017 when imports increased by 28% year-to-year. Over the period under review, citrus fruit preserves imports reached their maximum in 2018 and are likely to see steady growth in the immediate term.

Imports by Country

France (7,472 tonnes) and the UK (6,570 tonnes) represented roughly 43% of total imports of citrus fruit jams, marmalades, jellies, purees or pastes in 2018. Germany (3,454 tonnes) ranks next in terms of the total imports with a 11% share, followed by Italy (9.5%), Ireland (9.1%) and Portugal (6%). Poland (1,196 tonnes), Sweden (1,188 tonnes), Spain (1,175 tonnes), the Netherlands (759 tonnes) and Belgium (565 tonnes) followed a long way behind the leaders.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of imports, amongst the main importing countries, was attained by Portugal, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, the UK ($14M), France ($13M) and Germany ($10M) were the countries with the highest levels of imports in 2018, with a combined 54% share of total imports. Italy, Portugal, Ireland, Sweden, Spain, Belgium, Poland and the Netherlands lagged somewhat behind, together accounting for a further 37%.

Portugal recorded the highest rates of growth with regard to imports, in terms of the main importing countries over the last eleven-year period, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Import Prices by Country

The citrus fruit preserves import price in the European Union stood at $2,121 per tonne in 2018, approximately mirroring the previous year. Overall, the citrus fruit preserves import price continues to indicate a mild slump. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2008 an increase of 7% y-o-y. Over the period under review, the import prices for citrus fruit jams, marmalades, jellies, purees or pastes attained their maximum at $2,824 per tonne in 2013; however, from 2014 to 2018, import prices failed to regain their momentum.

Prices varied noticeably by the country of destination; the country with the highest price was Belgium ($4,655 per tonne), while Ireland ($1,386 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by Belgium, while the other leaders experienced mixed trends in the import price figures.

Source: IndexBox AI Platform

carousel

CAROUSEL RETALIATION: TARIFF UNCERTAINTY ON ANOTHER RIDE

The Ride Music Starts

On October 2, a World Trade Organization (WTO) arbitrator rendered a decision that authorizes the United States to apply retaliatory tariffs on as much as $7.5 billion worth of European exports each year until WTO-illegal European subsidies to its aircraft industry are removed.

In a press release issued that day, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced that beginning October 18, the United States would apply WTO-approved tariffs on a list of EU products. The list includes 10 percent duties on civil aircraft, but also 25 percent duties on goods we consume directly including butter, various cheeses, clementines, clams, green olives and single-malt Irish and Scotch Whiskies.

Before their next cocktail party, U.S. shoppers might stock up to beat the tariffs, but they may not want to go overboard buying Parmigiano Reggiano. That’s because the Administration is reportedly considering what is known as “carousel” retaliation – a regular rotation of goods targeted for tariffs, designed to impose maximum pain. The United States and Europe have been on this ride before.

Theme Park Rules

In a trade dispute, the parties first enter into consultations. If they are unable to come to an agreement, the complainant may request a WTO panel to review the dispute. Once the panel issues a report, the WTO Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) will adopt it, unless a party appeals it or all DSB members vote against adoption.

If there is an appeal, the Appellate Body reviews the case and delivers its findings, together with the panel report as modified by the appeal, to the DSB. If the complaining party wins, the losing party is given a “reasonable” period of time to implement the decision. The original panel may be called upon to determine if the losing party implemented the ruling in the agreed timeframe. If not, there are two alternatives for the party bringing the case: seek compensation or retaliate. In the latter case, the complainant estimates its loss, the losing party can seek arbitration on the level, and the DSB authorizes the final amount.

Such countermeasures should be “equivalent” to the injury caused and “related to” the economic sector of the illegal measure, with the goal to induce the removal of the offending measure. Often the offending party will, in fact, withdraw the measure before the imposition of authorized retaliatory measures.

US wins 7.5 billion dispute against EU on Airbus illegal subsidies

Beef and Bananas – How Carousel Started

In some cases, applying tariffs on imports isn’t enough to induce compliance. When the United States, Ecuador, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico won their case in the WTO challenging the legality of Europe’s banana import policy, the European Union (EU) failed to comply with the ruling, even in the face of nearly $200 million in U.S. tariffs.

U.S. banana exporters, increasingly frustrated with the EU’s lack of compliance with the WTO ruling, looked to Congress to enact a new tool to increase the pressure. They found allies in U.S. livestock exporters, who had won a WTO case that a European ban on U.S. imports of meat produced with hormones was inconsistent with the EU’s WTO obligations. As with the banana case, the EU had employed delaying tactics to stall implementation of the panel decision against it.

Riding a New Horse

Two months after USTR imposed retaliatory tariffs in the beef hormone dispute, a group of Senators introduced S.1619, the Carousel Retaliation Act of 1999. Proposed as an amendment to Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, its provisions would have required USTR to “carousel” or rotate its product retaliation list when an offending country does not implement a WTO decision. More specifically, USTR was to rotate items 120 days after the first retaliation list and every 180 days thereafter, with the ability to opt not to do so if compliance is imminent or rotation is deemed unnecessary. The bill language ultimately became part of the Trade and Development Act of 2000.

While banana and meat producers were supportive, other industries were not. Some argued that frequently rotating the products subjects to tariffs would be challenging for retailers. The EU contended the method was WTO inconsistent, though the WTO never ruled on the matter.

USTR ultimately did not pull the trigger to rotate its retaliatory tariff list in either the banana or beef cases as the matters got bound up in a separate dispute over U.S. tax benefits for foreign sales corporations (FSC). The EU had previously won a case against FSC and the U.S. amended its law in November 2000 in response. The EU challenged whether that revision brought the measure into WTO compliance. The United States and EU agreed informally that the EU would not pursue sanctions in the FSC case, but if the United States revised its product lists under the carousel provisions, all bets were off. Ultimately, the WTO ruled the revised U.S. law was not compliant, the United States lost its appeal, and the issue was not resolved until five years later.

Others Get on the Ride

The United States develops retaliation lists with an eye to maximizing pain on the trading partner that committed the foul, while trying to minimize the inevitable adverse impact on its own consumers and firms. Mexico has adeptly turned this practice against the United States in response to practices it viewed as inconsistent with WTO or NAFTA obligations.

NAFTA provisions governing retaliation state that an injured party should first “seek to suspend benefits in the same sector” as that covered by the restrictive measure. If it is not practical or effective to suspend benefits in the same sector, the injured party “may suspend benefits in other sectors.”

During the original NAFTA negotiations, the United States and Mexico agreed to phase out restrictions on cross-border passenger and cargo services. In 1995, however, the United States announced it would not lift restrictions on Mexican trucks and, in 2001, a NAFTA dispute panel found the U.S. to be in breach of its obligations. After years of negotiation and a false start with a U.S. pilot program, Mexico retaliated in 2009 on more than $2 billion worth of U.S. goods.

Mexico used a carousel approach, rotating different products on and off the retaliation list. The first list of 89 products went into effect in March 2009. The list was revised in August 2010, by removing 16 of the listed products and adding 26 more, bringing the total number of products on the updated list to 99. Through this method, Mexico was able to target key pain points, leading the U.S. to institute another pilot program in 2011, and Mexico to remove its tariffs.

More recently, when the Trump Administration moved forward with 25 percent tariffs on Mexican steel imports and 10 percent tariffs on Mexican aluminum imports in June 2018, Mexico responded with retaliatory tariffs on $2.7 billion of U.S. goods that included various steel products but also pork legs, apples, cheese and other agricultural products that had seen significant growth in export value and market share in Mexico.

In March 2019, Mexico’s Deputy Economy Minister Luz Maria de la Mora stated that if the United States did not repeal the tariffs, her government would have an updated list in its “carousel” of U.S. targets ready in about two months, noting that Mexico would bring in some new products and remove others. In early May, she announced the revised list was ready and under final review, but the United States agreed in mid-May to remove its tariffs, hoping to boost the chances of ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) agreement.

Round and Round We Go

Perhaps symbolic of the differences that the United States and Europe are trying to bridge, in America carousels turn counterclockwise and in England and much of Europe, they rotate clockwise.

Some observers see the recently announced U.S. retaliation list against the EU as more restrained than expected. Tariff rates of 100 percent had been possible and some of the announced exemptions were not anticipated. We’ll soon know more about the Trump Administration’s thinking on a carousel approach and how the Europeans will respond. There are no height restrictions to get on this tariff retaliation ride, but riders may need to buckle up.

__________________________________________________________________

Leslie Griffin is Principal of Boston-based Allinea LLC. She was previously Senior Vice President for International Public Policy for UPS and is a past president of the Association of Women in International Trade in Washington, D.C.

This article originally appeared on TradeVistas.org. Republished with permission.

India

INDIA TARIFFS COULD DENT GAINS FROM CALIFORNIA’S BUMPER ALMOND CROP

Celebrating Diwali in India with California almonds

Fall festivals and the wedding season are already ramping up in India. There’s Janmashtami which celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna, the festival for Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed God of the Hindus, and Diwali, the famously elegant festival of lights, and many more throughout the various regions of India. Almonds are a popular gift for such occasions.

The timing is perfect for California’s almond growers. Across California’s lush green valleys, almonds are being harvested from orchards, loaded on trucks and delivered to mills where the essential nut will be separated from its shell and hull. Almond traders in India await the arrival of the best quality shipments for the festival season demand beginning early September.

Almonds have deep roots in India

Almonds in India date as far back as prehistoric times. Ancient Indian Sanskrit texts on Ayurveda, the Indian traditional medicine, detail the role of almonds and other nuts in providing health benefits. Almonds were exclusive and prestigious health supplements for the rich and royal during the Mughal rule from the 15th to the 19th century.

To this day, consuming raw almonds on a daily basis as a standalone morning chew, added to milk shakes, as oils or as a garnish to dishes, is widely prevalent in India and elsewhere on the sub-continent.

Indian consumers choose from types of almonds available in Indian street markets and grocery stores – Mamra, Gurbandi and California almonds. California almonds command a majority market share due to its wide availability and lower price. Sweeter in taste, California almonds are favored in Indian cooking and garnishing.

Tariffs could dampen California’s bumper crop

California produces 80 percent of the world’s almonds. Americans consume just over a third of California’s harvest. The remaining 67 percent is exported to other countries. California almond growers are on track for a bumper crop this year, producing a record 2.5 billion pounds of almonds, which would be a nine percent increase of over last year’s crop.

TradeVistas- Global almond production

California growers have reason to worry about access to one of their biggest export markets. The Indian government increased tariffs on U.S. shelled almonds by 20 percent and non-shelled almonds by 17 percent in June. The move came days after the Trump administration announced plans to remove India from eligibility for key trade privileges under the U.S. Generalized System of Preference (GSP) program. India was the biggest beneficiary under the GSP program, exporting $5.6 billion worth of Indian products to the United States duty-free in 2017.

The latest tariff increase by India comes on top of an increase in customs duties last year and in addition to a 12 percent tax the Indian Ministry of Finance imposes on both domestic and imported almonds. The U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts the increased cost will cause a five percent drop in U.S. almond exports to India, impacting the 6,800 almond growers in California, who are mostly small to medium-size, family-run enterprises.

According to a study by the Almond Board of California, the almond industry generates more than 100,000 jobs in California, mostly in the Central Valley. Almond growers are California contribute about $11 billion annually to the state’s economy.

“Tomorrow Begins Today”

India has become such an important market for California almond growers that the state almond board has an office in New Delhi with a $5.5 million annual budget.

In July of 2015, the Almond Board of California launched a successful marketing campaign in India, promoting the lesser-known nutrition benefits of almonds such as heart health, weight management and diabetes management.

The campaign, called “Tomorrow Begins Today,” reached 4.05 billion broadcast impressions and is credited with helping grow the snack category by 100 percent.

TradeVistas- Export destinations for U.S. almonds

Tariffs are a tough nut to crack

In the face of new tariffs and competition from Vietnam, Hong Kong, Australia and Chile, California growers need to crack open new markets.

Unfortunately, the tariff wars are being fought in another of California’s important export markets – China. In 2018, China imposed a 50-percent retaliatory tariff on almond imports from the United States. U.S. exports declined by 33 percent from August 2018 to April 2019 compared with the same period of the prior year, according to Almond Board of California.

Higher tariffs could ultimately cost major U.S. fruit and nut industries over $2.6 billion per year in exports, according to a report by Daniel A. Sumner, an economist with the University of California Davis’ Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. The economic blow could rise to as much as $3.3 billion because of lost market share overtaken by lower-priced alternatives from competing exporters.

Australia has taken advantage of their free trade agreement with China to expand exports. The free trade agreement between the two countries grants zero tariffs on almonds and other commodities starting January 1, 2019. Australian producers recorded a 20-fold increase in exports to China this year, according to the Australian Board of Almonds.

Nothing to celebrate

Retaliatory tariffs imposed by India will shortchange the gains hoped for by California almond growers who are expecting a bumper harvest this year, but who also face tariffs in another top export market: China.

Indian importers might look for other sources but no other global exporter can match the volume of production by California’s almond growers. As long as India’s appetite for sweet almonds continues to grow, Indian consumers will pay a higher price for U.S. almonds at their upcoming celebrations.

PBhatnagar

Pragya Bhatnagar is a Research Associate with the Hinrich Foundation where he focuses on International Trade Research. He is a Hinrich Foundation Global Trade Leader Scholar alumnus, earning his Master’s degree in International Journalism, specializing in Business and Financial Journalism, from Hong Kong Baptist University. He received his bachelor’s degree in Economics from Lucknow University, India.

This article originally appeared on TradeVistas.org. Republished with permission.

fruits nuts

U.S. – Fruits, Nuts And Peel (Sugar Preserved) – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘U.S. – Fruits, Nuts And Peel (Sugar Preserved) – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

Exports from the U.S.

In 2018, the amount of fruits, nuts and peel (sugar preserved) exported from the U.S. stood at 5.2K tonnes, shrinking by -7.3% against the previous year. Overall, exports of fruits, nuts and peel (sugar preserved) continue to indicate a slight reduction. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2009 with an increase of 42% y-o-y. Exports peaked at 9.3K tonnes in 2015; however, from 2016 to 2018, exports failed to regain their momentum.

In value terms, exports of fruits, nuts and peel (sugar preserved) totaled $11M (IndexBox estimates) in 2018. Over the period under review, exports of fruits, nuts and peel (sugar preserved) continue to indicate a slight contraction. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2009 with an increase of 76% against the previous year. In that year, exports of fruits, nuts and peel (sugar preserved) reached their peak of $21M. From 2010 to 2018, the growth of exports of fruits, nuts and peel (sugar preserved) failed to regain its momentum.

Exports by Country

Canada (1.8K tonnes) was the main destination for exports of fruits, nuts and peel (sugar preserved) from the U.S., with a 35% share of total exports. Moreover, exports of fruits, nuts and peel (sugar preserved) to Canada exceeded the volume sent to the second major destination, Saudi Arabia (385 tonnes), fivefold. The third position in this ranking was occupied by China (352 tonnes), with a 6.8% share.

From 2007 to 2018, the average annual rate of growth in terms of volume to Canada stood at +16.1%. Exports to the other major destinations recorded the following average annual rates of exports growth: Saudi Arabia (+11.9% per year) and China (+9.2% per year).

In value terms, Canada ($2.7M), China ($1.6M) and Turkey ($888K) constituted the largest markets for sweetened dried fruit and nut exported from the U.S. worldwide, together accounting for 46% of total exports.

Turkey recorded the highest growth rate of exports, among the main countries of destination over the last eleven-year period, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Export Prices by Country

The average export price for fruits, nuts and peel (sugar preserved) stood at $2,198 per tonne in 2018, coming down by -1.5% against the previous year. Over the period under review, the export price for fruits, nuts and peel (sugar preserved), however, continues to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2009 an increase of 25% year-to-year. In that year, the average export prices for fruits, nuts and peel (sugar preserved) attained their peak level of $2,776 per tonne. From 2010 to 2018, the growth in terms of the average export prices for fruits, nuts and peel (sugar preserved) failed to regain its momentum.

Prices varied noticeably by the country of destination; the country with the highest price was Turkey ($4,656 per tonne), while the average price for exports to Australia ($983 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was recorded for supplies to Taiwan, Chinese, while the prices for the other major destinations experienced more modest paces of growth.

Imports into the U.S.

In 2018, the imports of fruits, nuts and peel (sugar preserved) into the U.S. totaled 9.4K tonnes, picking up by 22% against the previous year. In general, imports of fruits, nuts and peel (sugar preserved), however, continue to indicate a slight downturn. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2018 with an increase of 22% y-o-y. Imports peaked at 12K tonnes in 2010; however, from 2011 to 2018, imports failed to regain their momentum.

In value terms, imports of fruits, nuts and peel (sugar preserved) stood at $32M (IndexBox estimates) in 2018. The total import value increased at an average annual rate of +2.3% from 2007 to 2018; however, the trend pattern remained consistent, with somewhat noticeable fluctuations being recorded in certain years. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2010 with an increase of 18% year-to-year. Over the period under review, imports of fruits, nuts and peel (sugar preserved) reached their peak figure in 2018 and are likely to continue its growth in the near future.

Imports by Country

In 2018, Thailand (4.5K tonnes) constituted the largest supplier of sweetened dried fruit and nut to the U.S., with a 48% share of total imports. Moreover, imports of fruits, nuts and peel (sugar preserved) from Thailand exceeded the figures recorded by the second-largest supplier, China (827 tonnes), fivefold. The third position in this ranking was occupied by Fiji (722 tonnes), with a 7.7% share.

From 2007 to 2018, the average annual growth rate of volume from Thailand totaled -1.1%. The remaining supplying countries recorded the following average annual rates of imports growth: China (-1.9% per year) and Fiji (+20.1% per year).

In value terms, Thailand ($14.2M) constituted the largest supplier of sweetened dried fruit and nut to the U.S., comprising 45% of total imports of fruits, nuts and peel (sugar preserved). The second position in the ranking was occupied by Fiji ($3.5M), with a 11% share of total imports. It was followed by China, with a 11% share.

From 2007 to 2018, the average annual growth rate of value from Thailand totaled +3.4%. The remaining supplying countries recorded the following average annual rates of imports growth: Fiji (+23.8% per year) and China (+0.5% per year).

Import Prices by Country

In 2018, the average import price for fruits, nuts and peel (sugar preserved) amounted to $3,379 per tonne, falling by -9.4% against the previous year. Overall, the import price indicated a noticeable increase from 2007 to 2018: its price increased at an average annual rate of +3.5% over the last eleven-year period. The trend pattern, however, indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded throughout the analyzed period. Based on 2018 figures, import price for fruits, nuts and peel (sugar preserved) increased by +54.7% against 2009 indices. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2013 an increase of 27% year-to-year. Over the period under review, the average import prices for fruits, nuts and peel (sugar preserved) reached their peak figure at $3,729 per tonne in 2017, and then declined slightly in the following year.

There were significant differences in the average prices amongst the major supplying countries. In 2018, the country with the highest price was Fiji ($4,917 per tonne), while the price for India ($1,887 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by Mexico, while the prices for the other major suppliers experienced more modest paces of growth.

Source: IndexBox AI Platform

USMCA

THESE COMPANIES KEEP CROSS-BORDER CARGO MOVING, EVEN WITH USMCA UP IN THE AIR

Our trilateral trade bloc is in a sort of limbo, stuck between the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that went into effect on Jan. 1, 1994, and the floundering United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA), which the countries’ leaders signed on Nov. 30, 2018, but has only been ratified in Mexico.

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has pushed for more ease of free trade among the three nations for years, about $1.7 billion worth of goods and services flow between the U.S. and Mexico borders every day. That’s about 2 percent of the GDP in America, where, according to the United Nations’ International Trade Center, Mexico and Canada are the two largest trading partners for U.S. manufacturers and shippers after China.

Despite these uncertain times, there are North American cross-border traders that continue to thrive. Consider the collection that follows. 

AVERITT EXPRESS

One of the nation’s leading freight transportation and supply chain management providers, Averitt is celebrating 50 years of service. The company cites customized, cross-border transportation solutions among its many, many specialties. Five years ago, Averitt slashed less-than-truckload (LTL) service times from the U.S. Midwest to Ontario, Canada, in recognition of the province’s rise as a manufacturing hub. Averitt’s strategically placed border service centers in Laredo, El Paso, Harlingen and Del Rio provide easy access to all points throughout Mexico, by rail, truck or expedited air. 

BNSF RAILWAY

One of North America’s leading freight transportation companies, BNSF boasts a.32,500 route-mile network covering 28 U.S. states and three Canadian provinces. The railway utilizes multiple strategies to make international shipments easier for customers. These include market experience, customs clearance know-how and participation in special North American rail service alliances. The BNSF network also includes five U.S.-Mexico gateways (San Diego, El Paso, Eagle Pass, Laredo and Brownsville) and operations in Fort Worth, Texas, and Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey, Mexico. Service options include carload, transload and intermodal (Mexi-Modal) that allow for shipments of all major commodities into and out of Mexico.  

CG RAILWAY

Picture in your head a railroad line extending from the American South to southern Mexico. You can imagine the track snaking along the contour of the Gulf of Mexico, extending west from Alabama through Mississippi and Louisiana before reaching Texas and turning due south through the border and beyond. What you did not picture was a shift from rail at Alabama’s Port of Mobile to an ocean ferry making a direct route over water to Puerto Coatzacoalcos in Veracruz, Mexico. That’s what CG Railway (CGR) has been doing since 2000: providing a faster, more cost-effective route between the eastern U.S. and Canada to central and southern Mexico. CGR offers C-TPAT (Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism) certification, bilingual customer support, proactive port security, reduced mileage and wear and tear on equipment and direct interchanges with the CSX, Norfolk Southern, Canadian National and Kansas City Southern railroads, the Alabama & Gulf Coast Railway and Terminal Railway Alabama State Docks and their Mexican counterparts. 

CN NORTH AMERICA

Canadian National is based in Montreal, Quebec, and the Class I freight railway’s network is the largest in that country by physical size and revenue. Established in 1919 and formerly government-owned, Canada’s only transcontinental railway spans from the Atlantic coast in Nova Scotia to the Pacific coast in British Columbia, across about 20,400 route miles of track. But you’d be mistaken to think CN, as it has more commonly known since 1960, is strictly a Great White North concern. The railway also serves the U.S. South and Midwest and, having gone private in 1995, it now counts as its single largest shareholder Bill Gates. Through the ’90s and 2000s, CN North America has acquired multiple lines passing through several U.S. states.

CROWLEY

The private, Jacksonville, Florida-based corporation is the largest operator of tugboats and barges in the world. Crowley American Transport provides ocean liner cargo services between the U.S., Canada, Mexico, South America and the Caribbean. Its American Marine Transport unit delivers local, over-the-road, and commercial trucking services in the continental U.S. Crowley Marine Services provides worldwide contract and specialized marine transportation services, including petroleum product transportation and sales, tanker escort and ship assist, contract barge transportation and ocean towing, logistics and support services, marine salvage and emergency response services, spill-response services on the West Coast and all-terrain transportation services.

CSX TRANSPORTATION

The subsidiary of CSX Corp., a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, CSX Transportation is a Class I freight railroad operating in the eastern United States and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec. The railroad operates around 21,000 route miles of track. While its lines blanket the east coasts of Canada and the U.S., you don’t have to be located on railroad track for CSX to help you, as it has access to 70 ports and nationwide transloading and warehousing services.

DB SCHENKER 

The global logistics and supply chain management giant has 93 branches in every U.S. state, Mexico and Canada. Schenker of Canada Ltd. provides logistics services, airfreight, custom brokerage, custom consulting, sports events, land transport and courier services. DB Schenker Mexico celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2017, having begun down there with a single location and 40 associates and now boasting of 500 employees in its corporate office in Mexico City as well as in Guadalajara, Monterrey, Queretaro, Puebla, Cancun, Ciudad Juarez and various other branches. DB Schenker Mexico offers air freight, ocean freight, land freight, customs brokerage, over-dimensioned projects, warehousing and contract logistics.

KANSAS CITY SOUTHERN

The KCS North American rail holdings and strategic alliances are primary components of a NAFTA railway system linking the commercial and industrial centers of the U.S., Mexico and Canada. “KCS is just one interchange away from every major market in North America,” boasts the railroad. KC Southern de Mexico offers unique rail access to the Port of Lazaro Cardenas on Mexico’s Pacific coast, which is an ideal spot to avoid congestion in U.S. West Coast ports. KCS also has access to Gulf of Mexico ports, including Altamira, Tampico and Veracruz in Mexico and Brownsville, New Orleans, Corpus Christi, Houston, Gulfport, Lake Charles, Mobile and Port Arthur in the U.S. 

LIVINGSTON INTERNATIONAL

Billed as North America’s No. 1 company focused on customs brokerage and compliance, Livingston International also offers international trade consulting and freight forwarding across the continent and around the globe. Headquartered in Chicago, Livingston operates along the U.S.-Canada border, with regional air/sea hubs in Los Angeles, New York and Norfolk. Livingston employs more than 3,200 employees at more than 125 key border points, seaports, airports and other strategic locations in North America, Europe and the Far East. Livingston is a customs brokerage leader in Canada, and the company also promises to move goods seamlessly into Mexico.

LOGISTICS PLUS

Whether it is working as a 3PL or 4PL partner, the Erie, Pennsylvania-based company specializes in total logistics management, LTL and truckload transportation, rail and intermodal services, project cargo and project management, import/export services, air and ocean freight forwarding, warehousing and distribution, global trade compliance services and logistics and technology solutions. Logistics Plus serves small and large businesses throughout the Greater Toronto Area, with an office in the zone that has access to the Port of Toronto and expertise in shipping in and out of Canada though the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. Bilingual logistics experts help customers with intra-Mexico, cross-border, or international shipping using air, ocean, ground or rail transportation. 

LYNDEN

Seattle-based Lynden not only delivers to, from and within Canada, the company does business there. Its long-established Canadian presence allows it to provide complete coverage for any transportation need. They can help with warehousing and distribution or 3PL in Canada, where Lynden boasts of knowing “the ins and outs of customs brokerage, duties and taxes, imports and exports.” From its offices in Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta, and Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Lynden offers scheduled less-than-truckload (LTL) and truckload (TL) service to points in Alaska and the Lower 48.

LYNNCO

The Tulsa, Oklahoma-based company optimizes customers’ supply chains coast-to-coast in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. LynnCo manages businesses and determines how and when ground, international air/ocean, spot/capacity, procurement and expedited services are the best options. For instance, LynnCo helped a U.S. manufacturer determine if shifting units to Mexico was profitable. The answer was no after factoring in the risks of moving, poor facilities, added shipping costs and product quality. 

POLARIS TRANSPORTATION GROUP

Billing itself as “an American company headquartered in Toronto,” Polaris has a quarter century of experience in scheduled LTL service between the U.S. and Canada. The company knows both countries’ customs rules and participates in every border security program, including C-TPAT, PIP (Partners in Protection), CSA (Customs Self- Assessment) and FAST (Free and Secure Trade). The company’s scheduled service connects Ontario and Quebec markets with the U.S. through a combination of its fleet and facilities along with those of its long-established partner carriers.

PUROLATOR INTERNATIONAL

The U.S. subsidiary of Canada’s leading provider of integrated freight and parcel delivery services, Jericho, New York-based Purolator International seamlessly transports shipments between the U.S. and Canada and manages the respective countries’ customs processes with aplomb. They pick up/drop off at every point in the U.S. and boast of a distribution network that extends to every Canadian province and territory. What truly takes Purolator International over the top is a commitment to continue improving, as evidenced by a recent $1 billion growth investment that includes two new hubs that will allow for faster fulfillment for both courier and e-commerce shipments from the U.S. throughout Canada, where consumers also will be seeing more access points, including upgraded retail pickup locations.

R+L GLOBAL

“Shipping to Mexico is facil,” according to Ocala, Florida-based R+L Global Logistics. Its qualified network of premium carriers in Mexico provide secure door-to-door Less than Truckload (LTL) and Full Truckload (FTL) services. They cover the entire Mexican territory and move cargo across all major U.S./Mexico border gateways. They also move intra-Mexico shipments. 

SCHNEIDER

The Green Bay, Wisconsin-based giant specializes in regional trucking, long-haul, bulk, intermodal, supply chain management, brokerage, warehousing, port logistics and transloading. Decades of cross-border freight experience means customer cargo moves without question or delay. Once goods move across the border, Schneider has the assets and personnel in place to deliver it safely and securely. “Here’s the simple fact: No one makes shipping to Canada and Mexico easier or more efficient than Schneider,” the company boasts. “By road or by rail, your freight is in the best hands possible.”

SENKO 

The Japanese logistics giant has offices in the U.S., where their own trucks and warehouses work with a network of vendors. The 3PL/4PL supply chain solutions provider uses its own IT technology developed in Japan to help arrange liquid tank transportation, flatbed, drayage, refrigerated, dry, expedited shipping and freight broker services. Senko Logistics Mexico is the company unit south of the border.

SUNSET TRANSPORTATION

The St. Louis-based company has offices and agents across the country, and customers whose shipments are moved around the globe. Sunset arranges freight for a wide range of industries, from wholesale food distribution to specialized construction equipment. “Cross-border solutions” include customs clearance for land, rail, air and ocean, LTL, TL, intermodal, rail, air, expedited and specialized freight, contracted lane and spot market, C-TPAT compliance, multimodal programs, a Laredo, Texas, warehouse and distribution facility and 24/7 bilingual, bicultural support.

SURGERE 

Headquartered in North Canton, Ohio, Surgere is a leader in linking OEMs, tier suppliers and logistics providers through an automotive data system that provides visibility on returnable containers at every stage of their movement between supplier and vehicle maker. The supply chain innovators, whose clients include Nissan and CEVA Logistics, recently opened Technologias Avanzadas Surgere de Mexico in Aguascalientes, Mexico, which has more than 1,300 suppliers and automotive plants within 200 kilometers of the location. “Central Mexico is the automotive hub for Latin America—making it a natural progression—and a welcomed challenge for us,” explained David Hampton, Surgere’s vice president for International Operations, in announcing the move. Surgere hopes to have the Mexico office fully staffed before the end of this year.

TQL

Cincinnati, Ohio-based Total Quality Logistics (TQL) was founded in 1997 and is now the second-largest freight brokerage firm in the nation, with more than 5,500 employees in 57 offices across the county. Known for combining industry-leading technology and unmatched customer service, TQL boasts of providing competitive pricing, continuous communication and “a commitment to do it right every time.” They move more than 1.6 million loads across the U.S., Canada and Mexico annually through a broad portfolio of logistics services and a network of more than 75,000 carriers.

USA TRUCK

The Van Buren, Arkansas-based company provides customized truckload, dedicated contract carriage, intermodal and third-party logistics freight management services throughout North America. USA Truck has nearly two decades of experience servicing Mexico, which has allowed the company to expand its presence south of the border and partner with many Mexican carriers. USA Truck’s Capacity Solutions coordinates transportation into and out of Mexico with a vast carrier network, and they service most major Mexican markets and consistently maintain C-TPAT certification. USA Truck also has a select fleet of third-party carriers providing service into the provinces of Ontario and Quebec, Canada.

UTXL

Launched in 1997 by four founders with more than 100 years of combined asset-based trucking experience, UTXL started with this goal: to be the safest, most reliable and cost effective niche capacity resource to customers in support of their core carrier programs. UTXL has served thousands of shippers across the U.S., Canada and Mexico, including some of the largest shippers in the world. One of their mottos is: “Any point in the U.S., Canada or Mexico … any length of haul.”

WERNER ENTERPRISES

“We keep America moving” is the motto of this Omaha, Nebraska-based company that has one of the largest transportation services to and from Mexico and is a premiere long-haul carrier to and from Canada and throughout North America. Werner has offices in Mexico and Canada as well as experienced and knowledgeable staff engineer solutions. PAR documentation allows for quicker access through customs into Canada, and their network of alliance carriers can manage entire supply chains within Canada and Mexico regardless of equipment needs.

WW SOLUTIONS

The unit of Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics participates in Mexico’s automotive industry not only as a carrier and logistics provider. WW Solutions specializes in processing solutions at ports and at OEM plants, providing services that include pre-delivery inspections, accessory fittings, repairs, storage, washing, vehicle preparation, quality control, inventory management and the procurement of technical services.

YRC FREIGHT

Yellow Transportation (founded in 1924 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) merged with Roadway (founded in 1930 in Akron, Ohio) to create YRC Freight, which is the largest subsidiary of YRC Worldwide Inc. based in Overland Park, Kansas. A leading transporter of industrial, commercial and retail goods, YRC Freight offers solutions for businesses across North America and is the only carrier with on-site, bilingual representatives at border crossing points in Mexico to expedite customs clearance.

commerce

COMMERCE ISSUES PRELIMINARY DETERMINATIONS IN PROBES OF DRIED TART CHERRY IMPORTS FROM TURKEY

The U.S. Department of Commerce on Sept. 23 announced the affirmative preliminary determinations in the antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations of imports of dried tart cherries from Turkey, finding that exporters sold dried tart cherries at less than fair value at rates ranging from 541.29 to 648.35 percent and received countervailable subsidies at a rate of 204.93 percent.

Commerce will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to collect cash deposits from importers of dried tart cherries from Turkey based on these preliminary rates.

Investigations were initiated based on petitions filed by the Dried Tart Cherry Trade Committee, whose members include Cherry Central Cooperative (Traverse City, Michigan), Graceland Fruit, Inc. (Frankfort, Michigan), Payson Fruit Growers Coop (Payson, Utah), Shoreline Fruit, LLC (Traverse City, Michigan) and Smeltzer Orchard Co. (Frankfort, Michigan). In 2018, imports of dried tart cherries from Turkey were valued at an estimated $1.2 million.

Commerce is scheduled to announce its final AD and CVD determinations on or about Dec. 5. If affirmative final determinations are made, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) will be scheduled to make its final injury determinations on or about Jan. 21, 2020. Only if both Commerce and the ITC make affirmative final injury determinations will AD and CVD orders be issued. Any negative final determinations end the investigations with no orders issued.

corn exports

U.S. Wet Corn Exports Rose for the Third Consecutive Year

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘U.S. Wet Corn Market. Analysis And Forecast to 2025’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

The revenue of the wet corn market in the U.S. amounted to $8.7B in 2018, dropping by -8.3% against the previous year. This figure reflects the total revenues of producers and importers (excluding logistics costs, retail marketing costs, and retailers’ margins, which will be included in the final consumer price). Over the period under review, wet corn consumption continues to indicate a drastic deduction. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in 2016 with a decrease of -1.8% against the previous year. Wet corn consumption peaked at $15.3B in 2013; however, from 2014 to 2018, consumption stood at a somewhat lower figure.

Wet Corn Production in the U.S.

In value terms, wet corn production stood at $9.6B in 2018. In general, wet corn production continues to indicate an abrupt shrinkage. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2016 when production volume decreased by -1.1% year-to-year. Wet corn production peaked at $16.7B in 2013; however, from 2014 to 2018, production remained at a lower figure.

Exports from the U.S.

In 2018, the amount of wet corn exported from the U.S. stood at 2.1M tonnes, falling by -15.1% against the previous year. Over the period under review, wet corn exports continue to indicate a perceptible decline. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2016 when exports increased by 5.2% year-to-year. Over the period under review, wet corn exports reached their peak figure at 2.6M tonnes in 2014; however, from 2015 to 2018, exports remained at a lower figure.

In value terms, wet corn exports stood at $922M (IndexBox estimates) in 2018. In general, wet corn exports continue to indicate a deep shrinkage. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2017 with an increase of 1.8% y-o-y. Over the period under review, wet corn exports attained their peak figure at $1.6B in 2013; however, from 2014 to 2018, exports remained at a lower figure.

Exports by Country

Ireland (493K tonnes), Israel (265K tonnes) and Colombia (147K tonnes) were the main destinations of wet corn exports from the U.S., with a combined 43% share of total exports. Chile, Egypt, the UK, Indonesia, Turkey, Morocco, New Zealand, Portugal and China lagged somewhat behind, together comprising a further 39%.

From 2013 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of exports, amongst the main countries of destination, was attained by New Zealand (+86.2% per year), while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, Chile ($96M), Ireland ($92M) and Colombia ($78M) were the largest markets for wet corn exported from the U.S. worldwide, together accounting for 29% of total exports. Egypt, Indonesia, China, Israel, the UK, New Zealand, Turkey, Morocco and Portugal lagged somewhat behind, together comprising a further 34%.

New Zealand recorded the highest growth rate of exports, among the main countries of destination over the last five-year period, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Export Prices by Country

The average wet corn export price stood at $435 per tonne in 2018, going down by -11.2% against the previous year. In general, the wet corn export price continues to indicate a deep descent. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in 2015 when the average export price increased by 1.7% y-o-y. Over the period under review, the average export prices for wet corn attained their peak figure at $629 per tonne in 2013; however, from 2014 to 2018, export prices remained at a lower figure.

Prices varied noticeably by the country of destination; the country with the highest price was China ($1,055 per tonne), while the average price for exports to Portugal ($153 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2013 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was recorded for supplies to China, while the prices for the other major destinations experienced a decline.

Imports into the U.S.

In 2018, approx. 467K tonnes of wet corn were imported into the U.S.; increasing by 5.5% against the previous year. Overall, the total imports indicated a strong expansion from 2013 to 2018: its volume increased at an average annual rate of +9.5% over the last five years. The trend pattern, however, indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded throughout the analyzed period. Based on 2018 figures, wet corn imports increased by +57.5% against 2013 indices. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2015 with an increase of 16% year-to-year. Imports peaked in 2018 and are likely to see steady growth in the immediate term.

In value terms, wet corn imports totaled $506M (IndexBox estimates) in 2018. The total import value increased at an average annual rate of +7.7% over the period from 2013 to 2018; however, the trend pattern indicated some noticeable fluctuations being recorded throughout the analyzed period. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2018 when imports increased by 12% y-o-y. In that year, wet corn imports reached their peak and are likely to continue its growth in the immediate term.

Imports by Country

Thailand (128K tonnes), Germany (70K tonnes) and the Netherlands (41K tonnes) were the main suppliers of wet corn imports to the U.S., with a combined 51% share of total imports. These countries were followed by Pakistan, Denmark, France, China, Belgium, Taiwan, Chinese, Poland, Viet Nam and Brazil, which together accounted for a further 34%.

From 2013 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of imports, amongst the main suppliers, was attained by Viet Nam, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, the largest wet corn suppliers to the U.S. were Germany ($84M), Thailand ($82M) and the Netherlands ($46M), together comprising 42% of total imports. France, Belgium, Pakistan, China, Denmark, Taiwan, Chinese, Viet Nam, Brazil and Poland lagged somewhat behind, together comprising a further 40%.

Viet Nam recorded the highest growth rate of imports, among the main suppliers over the last five-year period, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Import Prices by Country

In 2018, the average wet corn import price amounted to $1,083 per tonne, rising by 6.6% against the previous year. In general, the wet corn import price, however, continues to indicate a mild downturn. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2018 when the average import price increased by 6.6% year-to-year. Over the period under review, the average import prices for wet corn reached their maximum at $1,194 per tonne in 2014; however, from 2015 to 2018, import prices stood at a somewhat lower figure.

There were significant differences in the average prices amongst the major supplying countries. In 2018, the country with the highest price was Belgium ($2,141 per tonne), while the price for Thailand ($641 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2013 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by Taiwan, Chinese, while the prices for the other major suppliers experienced more modest paces of growth.

Companies Mentioned in the Report

Archer-Daniels-Midland Company, Ingredion Incorporated, Roquette America, Inc., Penford Corporation, Penford Products Co., Briess Industries, Inc., Rahr Malting Co., Malteurop North America Inc., Tate & Lyle Ingredients Americas LLC, Malt Products Corporation, Enjoy Life Natural Brands, Semo Milling, Great Western Malting Co, Western Polymer Corporation, Gro Alliance, Philadelphia Beer Works Inc, Unilever Bestfoods North America, Anderson Custom Processing, Tate & Lyle Americas, Great Western Malting, La Aceitera Inc, Holdings In Zone Inc, Staley Holdings, Cornproducts/Mcp Sweeteners, High Sea Sugar

Source: IndexBox AI Platform

trade

Peeling Away Trade Protections for Bananas

Simple in appearance, pleasantly sweet, nutritious, and nearly universal in appeal, that Cavendish bunch of bananas on your counter comes off as pretty unassuming. In reality, it has been through jungle wars and trade wars and now sits on the precipice of extinction. More than half of the bananas traded globally are the Cavendish variety. But with two diseases threatening the world’s largest Cavendish plantations, growing to love more varieties could help save trade in bananas.

Still an Important Cash Crop

Grown in more than 150 countries, bananas are the eighth most important food crop in the world – fourth most important in developing countries. Bananas are among the most traded fruit in the world, generating revenues of more than $8 billion a year for the top banana exporters including Ecuador, the Philippines, Costa Rica, Colombia and Guatemala. However, most are produced for local or national consumption.

For example, the Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that between 70 and 80 percent of bananas in Africa are produced by smallholder farmers. Around 114 million tons are produced globally beyond what isn’t too small to be counted, yet only 19 million tons were shipped globally. That said, for the top five exporters, bananas are a major contributor to the total value of their agricultural exports. India and China are among the biggest producers but their output mainly serves the large domestic markets.

global bananas trade

Peeling Away Trade Protections

The Banana Wars, centered on the European Union’s (EU) banana trade regime, spanned 20 years as the longest running series of disputes in the multilateral trading system to date (although the Boeing-Airbus dispute may be on track to take that title). As one of the most significant episodes in trade law, the Banana Wars are deserving of more attention, but here are some abridged highlights.

Europe’s banana regime began as an umbrella for complex arrangements at the individual EU Member State level that were designed to offer exclusive or preferential access to former colonies in Africa, Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP), and at the same time shield EU producers from competition.

Under the EU’s original regime, ACP countries received a zero-tariff rate while imports from other countries were taxed at 20 percent. However, each Member State was allowed to “derogate” and maintain special protective provisions for imports from their overseas departments. For example, France set aside two-thirds of its market for Guadeloupe and Martinique and the remaining third for the ACP Franc Zone states of Cameroon and Cote d’Ivoire. The Spanish market was reserved for shipments from the Canary Islands. Greece banned imports to protect its own production in Crete. Only Germany opened to free trade.

The Single European Act of 1986 mandated an integrated EU market by January 1993, which required that Member States consolidate their programs into a common regime for bananas. As devised, this version still enabled members to discriminate among imports by source, offering better terms to their overseas departments and to imports from ACP countries. Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Venezuela (supported by the United States) challenged the regime as inconsistent with the EU’s obligations under the GATT.

The EU’s ability to offer tariff preferences was upheld because it had a waiver in the GATT for its general tariff preference program; but the GATT Panel found the EU’s discrimination through tariff quotas to be inconsistent with its obligations. However, prior to the WTO, a GATT member could simply veto the outcome of a panel decision, enabling the EU effectively to ignore the GATT Panel ruling.
EU banana imports

Second Banana

The EU revised its banana regime in 1993 to include new special distribution licenses under a general quota. Licenses were divvied up among primary importers and importers performing secondary activities such as customs clearance, warehousing and storage; licenses were dependent on historical performance, subject to country allocations, market share and other criteria. After yet another challenge by the five Latin American countries, a GATT Panel found in 1994 that the EU’s licensing system was excessively restrictive and not covered by its waiver.

After 1995, with the WTO’s enforceable dispute settlement system in place and additional obligations to avoid discrimination in trade in services, the EU recognized it would face more challenges to its regime. The large multinational producers involved in shipping, warehousing, ripening, marketing and distribution had an even stronger case to make. The EU negotiated with all of the disgruntled Latin American producers but Guatemala to head off the legal challenge. Having offered additional or expanded quotas, they temporarily pleased some countries but further worsened the discriminatory effect for those countries not a part of the negotiation.

A third complaint against the EU’s banana regime was reviewed in the WTO in 1996, this time with the United States as the lead plaintiff in response to complaints from Chiquita and the Hawaiian Banana Association. A WTO decision in 1997 again concluded that, although the EU’s discriminatory tariffs were covered under its historical waiver, its tariff quota allocations and convoluted import licensing administration violated its WTO obligations. The EU’s next version of its banana regime did little to remedy the discriminatory elements, which led to the imposition of tariffs by the United States and Ecuador in response to the EU’s failure to comply with the WTO ruling. By 2001, the EU made another attempt to transition its system, but not until 2006 would the EU decide to phase in a tariff-only system, dispensing with quotas.

Banana Splits

At the end of 2009, after negotiations with non-ACP producers, the EU agreed to reduce the tariff rate it applies to all WTO members. Tariffs would come down from 176 euros per ton to 114 euros per ton by January 2017 (stipulating it could revert to higher rates if exporting countries exceed a “trigger” amount of imports). It wouldn’t be until 2012, that the EU and 10 Latin American countries finalized signed an agreement in the WTO to codify the revised EU banana tariff schedule (“The Geneva Banana Agreement”), officially closing the longstanding legal disputes.

As a prologue, the EU signed trade agreements with Andean and Central American countries in 2013 and Ecuador in 2017. Ecuador has seen a large bump in global export volume as its agreement with the EU is implemented. By next year, the tariff on bananas from Ecuador to the EU will go down to 75 euros per ton with no quota on the amount eligible for this rate. As the EU continues to edge toward “freer” trade in bananas, the ACP producers will face considerable adjustment.

2009 Geneva Banana Agreement

Going Bananas

Having survived the banana trade wars, the popular Cavendish banana faces a new challenge, one that could actually wipe them out.

“Panama disease TR4” has ravaged thousands of acres of Cavendish plantations throughout Southeast Asia and Australia and is spreading to Africa and the Middle East. It can lie dormant in soil for decades and has proven resistant to fungicides and fumigants. It is only a matter of time before TR4 takes hold in Latin America, which supplies nearly the entire U.S. market. Banana plantations in the Caribbean are threatened by another disease called Black Sigatoka, which has been reducing banana yields by 40 percent every year in affected areas.

Before Cavendish was top banana, a banana called the Gros Michel (Big Mike) dominated the banana trade in the early 1900s until the fungus TR1 took it to the brink of extinction in the mid-1950s. At that time, the Cavendish variety from China was discovered to be resistant to TR1 so it replaced Mike. But bananas don’t have seeds. They breed asexually so they cannot recombine their genes to ward off threats. In other words, the Cavendish is ripe for attack because it cannot evolve – every generation is a clone of the previous.

Try Hanging with a New Bunch

If scientists don’t make a breakthrough, TR4 and TR1 could spell the end for the beloved Cavendish. With over 1,000 different varieties of bananas growing around the world, why not get to know some others that might grow more popular through trade – here are a few to get you started.

For your next dessert, try using Niño, Manzano (“apple bananas”) that have a hint of apple and strawberry flavor, or Goldfinger, a newer variety from Honduras. Intriguingly, there’s also Blue Java, named for its blue skin, which has a creamy, ice cream-like texture and purportedly offers a subtle vanilla flavor.

Cooking bananas include the Macho plantain and other fun-sounding varieties like the Burro which has squared sides and a lemon flavor when ripe, and the Rhino Horn from Africa, which can grow up to two feet long. If consumers demand it, perhaps global trade in bananas will finally branch out.

_________________________________________________________________________

Andrea Durkin is the Editor-in-Chief of TradeVistas and Founder of Sparkplug, LLC. Ms. Durkin previously served as a U.S. Government trade negotiator and has proudly taught international trade policy and negotiations for the last fourteen years as an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University’s Master of Science in Foreign Service program.

This article originally appeared on TradeVistas.org. Republished with permission.

 

Vietnam

Why Washington Shouldn’t see Vietnam as the Next China

In a recent Senate Finance Committee report, U.S. Trade Czar Robert Lighthizer opined that Vietnam must take action to curb its growing trade surplus with the U.S., including removing barriers to market access for U.S. companies.

While it is true that Vietnam’s trade surplus has grown significantly in 2019, much of it is the result of the trade war between the U.S. and China that has prompted importers to source from Vietnam as an alternative to China.

Rather than attempt to stunt Vietnam’s trade surplus through tariffs or other trade actions, Washington should be establishing alliances with countries in Southeast Asia as part of its quest to ensure balanced trade and market stability.

Lighthizer’scomments were in response to queries from the Committee and echoed previous statements made by White House administration officials who have identified Vietnam as one of several countries to watch with respect to trade activity. And while there hasn’t been a direct threat of imposing tariffs on Vietnamese imports, the recent implementation of a 400% duty on Vietnamese steel imports and the recent rhetoric in Washington regarding transshipment has many businesses nervous that their new safe haven may be the President’s next target for trade action.

Troublesome to United State Trade Representative (USTR) is that the surplus thus far in 2019 is already more than 30% higher than it was at this time last year, making Vietnam the leading nation in terms of percentage increase of import value in 2019.

Hastening trade imbalance

Washington has been at least somewhat complicit in hastening Vietnam’s growing trade surplus. Since the U.S. began imposing tariffs on China-origin goods, many U.S. companies (and some Chinese companies) have been looking to shift production to neighboring markets in Asia. A recent poll of U.S. companies by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in China showed that more than 40% of American companies with production in China were looking to move to a neighboring country if they hadn’t already done so. These include the likes of Dell, HP, Steve Madden, Brooks and others. Even non-U.S. companies, like Japan’s Nintendo and China’s own electronics giant TCL are looking to shift production out of China and into Vietnam.

Vietnam was an obvious choice for many of these manufacturers looking to circumvent Washington’s onerous tariffs. For years, Vietnam has been investing heavily in improving its roadway and port infrastructure, as well as augmenting its pool of high-skilled laborers so that it can attract large hi-tech giants. The advancements were well-timed to coincide with increasing wages and regulatory restrictions in China that were driving up costs and forcing foreign producers to look elsewhere for low-cost manufacturing alternatives. This was taking place well before the current administration in Washington began cracking down on China’s questionable trade practices.

To be fair, Washington does have some cause for complaint. It’s one of Asia’s worst kept secrets that Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand have become convenient transshipment hubs for Chinese companies looking to circumvent quotas and, more recently, tariffs by making minor tweaks in neighboring countries to products almost wholly manufactured in China and sending them along to the U.S. as “Vietnamese” or “Malaysian” exports. In the end, there is little monetary gain for Vietnam and much opportunity for reputational damage. Hanoi’s incentive for playing along is purely political; it wants to placate China, its much larger neighbor and regional hegemon.

Hanoi has already said it will crackdown on Chinese transshipments labeled as being of Vietnamese origin. Nikkei Asian Review is reporting the Vietnamese government is considering new rules that would require 30% of a good’s price to be comprised of Vietnamese manufacturing for it to be considered as being of Vietnamese origin. Whether or not this will pacify the USTR remains to be seen.

Yet while Chinese transshipments may have been a catalyst to Vietnam’s soaring trade surplus, the ongoing U.S-China trade war has unquestionably accelerated the development of a trend that was only in its infancy a few short years ago.

If Washington is looking to penalize Vietnam for a trade surplus born out of Washington’s trade war with Beijing, where will the cycle of tariffs end?

Options for low-cost sourcing plentiful

Let’s assume Washington succeeds in quelling the growth of Vietnam’s trade surplus by imposing tariffs in the same manner it has with China, the EU and other entities. The likely outcome will be that U.S. companies then look to Thailand, Myanmar, Bangladesh or Cambodia (as many have already) to replace or supplement their production in China.

Let’s assume that Washington then imposes similar tariffs on imports from those countries. The likely outcome will be that U.S. companies then shift their attention to India, Mexico or any other country that offer lower cost labor and limited regulatory burden. And on and on it goes.

Washington wants to see production repatriated back to the United States, but only six percent of American companies moving production out of China are looking at reshoring their manufacturing facilities. One of the key reasons is that the facilities currently in China are intended to support regional exports and reshoring production to the U.S. would result in unnecessary transport costs and time in transit. In other cases, the cost of moving production to the U.S. could be too onerous to allow companies to compete globally.

A battle worth waging – along with friends and allies

This is not to suggest Washington’s war on China’s unsavory trade practices is unjust or futile. On the contrary, China’s history of misappropriating intellectual property through technology transfer, cybersecurity incidents and other trade violations requires America to act. But tariffs only punish American companies that will continue to shift their production as necessary to reduce their landed costs.

Instead of reprimanding and punishing countries like Vietnam with tariffs in response to growing trade surpluses, Washington should be working with them to forge alliances that will ensure China is forced to play by the rules.

If the U.S. truly wants to stave off bad actors such as China from continuing to abuse the global trade’s rule-based system, it will need the support of friends and allies in the eastern and western hemispheres. Acting alone and imposing unilateral restrictions only throws Washington into a battle of wills for which collateral damage is certain, but the outcome remains unknown.

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Cora Di Pietro is vice president of Global Trade Consulting at trade-services firm Livingston International. She is a frequent speaker and lecturer at industry and academic events and is an active member of numerous industry groups and associations. She can be reached at cdipietro@livingstonintl.com.

foreign investment

New Foreign Investment Restriction Regulations Cement CFIUS Reform

One of the emerging focal points of the U.S.-China trade war involves the implementation of updated foreign investment restrictions in key U.S. industries. 

On September 17, 2019, the Department of the Treasury issued proposed regulations to implement the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018 (FIRRMA), legislation that sought to reform and expand the scope of foreign investment reviews conducted by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). CFIUS, an inter-agency committee chaired by the Treasury Department with the authority to review, modify and potentially reject certain types of foreign investment that could adversely affect U.S. national security, has undergone a significant overhaul during the past year in the wake of FIRRMA becoming law in August 2018. It is now more vital than ever that companies understand how their business can be affected by the updated CFIUS regulations when they are seeking or negotiating a merger, acquisition, real estate investment or even a non-controlling investment from a foreign investor.

Typically, CFIUS reviews are voluntary and are conducted for merger or acquisition transactions where a non-U.S. company or a foreign government-controlled entity obtain a controlling interest in a U.S. company. If CFIUS determines that a covered transaction presents a national security risk, it has the authority to impose certain mitigating conditions before allowing the deal to proceed and can refer the transaction to the President for an ultimate decision. 

However, FIRRMA updated and expanded the scope of CFIUS jurisdiction to authorize reviews of additional types of non-controlling foreign investments based on the type of U.S. company involved. The implementing regulations proposed in September 2019 are set to take effect February 13, 2020, and while the CFIUS reform regulations are motivated by concerns directly related to China, the impact of FIRRMA will be felt globally and the new rules will not be tied to or affected by impending trade negotiations. U.S. businesses, particularly those involved in critical technologies, real estate, infrastructure and data collection or maintenance, must take heed of how the updated rules will affect their global business decisions moving forward.

New Regulations for TID Companies Effective February 2020

Effective February 13, 2020, CFIUS will be authorized to review “covered control transactions,” (all foreign acquisitions resulting in direct control in a U.S. business, which CFIUS already had jurisdiction over), as well as non-controlling “covered investments” by a foreign person in a U.S. critical technology, critical infrastructure or sensitive personal data company. The new rules refer to these as “TID U.S. Businesses” (Technology, Infrastructure and Data), or to be more specific, a company that engages in one of the following categories of activity: 

-produces, designs, tests, manufactures, fabricates or develops one or more critical technologies;

-owns, operates, manufactures, supplies or services critical infrastructure; or

-maintains or collects sensitive personal data of U.S. citizens that may be exploited in a manner that threatens national security.

“Critical technologies” include defense articles or defense services under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, certain nuclear-related products regulated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Controls and certain technologies on the Commerce Control List under the Export Administration Regulations. In addition, “critical technologies” will include certain “emerging technologies” that are yet to be defined, and the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security is currently reviewing at least 17 technology areas that are anticipated to result in new controls (including bio-tech, artificial intelligence, microprocessors, positional navigation and timing technology, quantum computing and additive manufacturing (3D printing)). 

“Critical infrastructure” includes key industry subsectors such as telecommunications, utilities, energy and transportation. “Sensitive personal data” is defined to include ten categories of data maintained or collected by U.S. businesses that (i) target products or services to sensitive populations (including U.S. military members and federal national security employees); (ii) collect or maintain such data on at least one million individuals; or (iii) have a business objective to collect such data on greater than 1 million individuals and such data is an integrated part of the U.S. business’s primary product or service. The categories of data include types of financial, geolocation and health data. 

Non-Controlling Covered Investments

Under the new regulations, CFIUS will be authorized to review non-controlling covered investment in TID U.S. Businesses. A “covered investment” includes scenarios where a foreign investor obtains:

-access to material non-public technical information;

-membership or observer rights on the board of directors or an equivalent governing body of the business or the right to nominate an individual to a position on that body; or

-any involvement, other than through voting of shares, in substantive decision making regarding sensitive personal data of U.S. citizens, critical technologies, or critical infrastructure.

Filing a CFIUS declaration for a non-controlling covered investment will remain a largely voluntary process, and parties will be able to file a notice or submit a short-form declaration notifying CFIUS of a covered investment in order to receive a potential “safe harbor” letter (after which CFIUS in most scenarios will not initiate a review of a transaction). 

However, if a foreign government holds a “substantial interest” in the foreign investor that obtains a “substantial interest” in a TID U.S. Business, a CFIUS filing will be mandatory. The updated regulations provide that a foreign government is considered to have a substantial interest in the foreign investor if it holds a 49% direct or indirect interest, whereas a foreign person will obtain a substantial interest in a TID U.S. Business if it obtains at least a 25% direct or indirect interest. CFIUS is also authorized to mandate declarations for transactions involving certain types of critical technology companies. 

The proposed rules also include a “white list” provision providing CFIUS the authority to designate certain “excepted investors” and “excepted foreign states” that may be eligible for an exclusion in connection with non-controlling covered investments. 

Global Impact: How Does This Affect My Business? 

The most important practical effect of the updated regulations is the breadth of U.S. companies standing to be impacted or affected by new foreign investment restrictions. U.S. businesses and industries that have previously never had to consider filing a CFIUS declaration, including healthcare companies, tech start-ups, related infrastructure industries, venture capital funds, emerging technology companies and manufacturers, and any company with access to sensitive consumer data, will now have to contemplate the implications of a CFIUS review when considering even passive foreign investment. Robust due diligence on potential investors will be more important than ever to ensure compliance with both mandatory and voluntary CFIUS declaration filings. Cross-border deals will be a costlier and more time-consuming process that will require acute attention to detail when drafting the contractual rights afforded to foreign investors. 

If you have any questions about the impact of the updated CFIUS regulations or how they may affect your company, please contact a member of Baker Donelson’s Global Business Team for additional information.

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Joe D. Whitley is a shareholder at Baker Donelson, chair of the Firm’s Government Enforcement and Investigations Group and former General Counsel at the Department of Homeland Security. He can be reached at jwhitley@bakerdonelson.com

Alan Enslen is a shareholder with Baker Donelson and leads the International Trade and National Security Practice and is a member of the Global Business Team. He can be reached at aenslen@bakerdonelson.com

Julius Bodie is an associate with Baker Donelson who assists U.S. and foreign companies across multiple industries with international trade regulatory issues. He can be reached at jbodie@bakerdonelson.com