Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN)
| Brazil: Agricultural Prices Stoke Inflation|
Brazil’s consumer inflation has been steadily rising over the summer and into the fall. The increase has, in large part, been fueled by spiking food and beverage prices. Basic staples such as rice, beans, and soy cooking oil rose the most in percentage terms. With the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, consumer demand rose on the back of increasing consumption at home, as well as a new tendency to stock up on basic food staples. However, an important factor contributing to Brazil’s food inflation is Brazil’s role as a key global supplier of agricultural commodities and food products. Brazil’s 2020 agricultural export boom has created scarcity and higher prices on the domestic market. Although Brazil eliminated import tariffs on rice, corn, soybeans, soy oil and meal, food inflation is unlikely to subside for several more months until the 2020/21 grain and oilseed harvests begin to come online.
China: Retail Foods
China’s retail sector continues to grow to new highs as the number of middle-class consumers keeps growing. Online and offline stores continue to expand their footprint to attract customers who increasingly value quality, safety, convenience, and nutrition. The retail food industry held up relatively well despite the COVID-19 economic downturn during the first half of 2020. Imports of consumer-oriented food products climbed to a record high of $73 billion in 2019, but U.S. sales were down because of China’s retaliatory duties. However, imports of U.S. retail food products are gaining ground in 2020 because of the U.S.-China Economic & Trade Agreement.
Japan: Policies and Procedures for Genome Edited Food and Agricultural Products
The Government of Japan has completed and published guidelines for handling food and agricultural products derived from genome editing technology. The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare developed and oversees the guidelines for genome edited food and food additives. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries developed and oversees the guidelines for both genome edited feed and feed additives as well as the impact of genome edited products on the biodiversity of products within its jurisdiction. The Consumer Affairs Agency has also finalized guidance on labeling genome edited products.
Nigeria: Grain and Feed Update
Nigeria will rely on imports to meet its national requirements for grains (especially, wheat, corn, rice) in MY2020/21. Several factors are responsible for this dire situation – coronavirus lockdown restrictions, currency devaluations, insecurity, and climate change. These factors are contributing to the country’s lower grain production in the out-year. Rising food inflation, heightening unemployment, and lowering household incomes are expected to reduce grain consumption during the period. Meanwhile, Nigeria’s ineffective trade policies are constraining local food supply chains, elevating food inflation and increasing pressure on food security.
Ukraine: Green Light for Ukrainian Seeds to the EU
European Parliament has recognized equivalence of cereal seed produced in Ukraine. Growth of corn seed exports to the EU by international seed companies might be the most likely outcome. These might be followed by wheat and barley seed exports to the European market.