Global Agricultural Information Network (Gain)

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Global Agricultural Information Network (Gain)

Austria: Parliament Adopts Partial Ban on Glyphosate

After two unsuccessful attempts within the past two years to totally ban glyphosate, the Austrian parliament voted unanimously on a partial ban of glyphosate. This amendment of the Austrian pesticide law bans the use of glyphosate on so-called “sensitive” areas and for private use. Professional use of glyphosate including most applications in agriculture remains allowed. Unlike its earlier efforts to fully ban the substance, Austria does not anticipate any objections from the EU Commission to this partial ban.

China: Imports Buoyed by Softwood Log Demand

Soaring raw material prices and reduced inventory characterize China’s wood products industry in 2021. Domestic timber production is forecast to increase 10 percent in 2021 to 95 million cubic meters (m3) due to a larger logging quota and robust demand. Wood-based paneling production is forecast to increase 11 percent this year to 310 million m3, driven by growing domestic and international demand. China’s overall wood product imports are expected to increase slightly in 2021 due to low inventory and strong demand, in particular for softwood logs. Likewise, overall wood product exports are expected to increase due to rising international demand. China’s revised Forest Law includes an illegal timber ban that may help level the playing field for timber exporters, although the impact of the law will depend on the implementation regulations currently under development.

Costa Rica: Retail Foods

The ongoing economic impact of COVID-19 on Costa Rica has been significant, including a serious decline in tourism. Projections of visitors for 2021 remain low at one million, only one-third of the pre-pandemic levels. As a result, unemployment has remained high. However, Costa Rica’s retail sector remains strong and resilient with industry seeking to optimize its supply chain and e-commerce platforms. Consumers have been changing their shopping behavior in ways that could shape future purchasing patterns, There are good market prospects for U.S. consumer-oriented products, even with the pandemic situation. These U.S. products are preferred by consumers including beef, pork (chilled/fresh), poultry, dairy, wine and beer, snack foods, condiments, natural/organic food products, and cereals. These products have seen impressive growth in recent years, reaching $295 million in U.S. exports to Costa Rica in 2020.

European Union: Action Plan Towards Zero Pollution 

On May 12, 2021, the European Commission adopted the EU Action Plan ‘Towards Zero Pollution for Air, Water and Soil’ as part of the European Green Deal to achieve zero pollution by 2050. To achieve this objective all sectors will have to play a role including agriculture through the reduction of ammonia pollution, pesticides pollution and nutrient losses.

European Union: Citrus Semi-annual

In MY 2020/21, EU citrus production is projected to rebound 10.4 percent compared to previous season to 11.7 MMT. Favorable weather conditions in the top EU citrus-producing countries contributed to the recovery. Increased domestic supplies, higher demand for citrus derived from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the reopening of the hospitality sector may encourage EU citrus exports but discourage EU imports. Spain is the major citrus supplier to the EU market. Switzerland, Norway, and Serbia, followed by Canada, Brazil, and the Middle East continue to be strategic export markets outside the EU. In MY 2019/20, additional tariffs impacted citrus trade between the United States and the EU. Additional issues concerning trade agreements and agricultural bans may also influence global citrus trade.

Ghana: FAS Accra Regional Ag Developments

This quarterly publication provides a summary of local and regional developments relevant to U.S. food and agricultural trade covering Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Togo. Highlights in the Spring 2021 edition focus on the impact of a wide range of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) activities in the region, including the development of premium market linkages in the cocoa sector, a study conducted by a USDA Borlaug fellow on the nutritional value of a soy-gari blend, and the Foreign Agricultural Service’s (FAS) Ghana office involvement in a national livestock and fisheries tradeshow.

Japan: USJTA Treatment for Coarse Grains

The U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement (USJTA) has been in effect for 17 months, however the timing of Japan’s fiscal year meant that the agreement entered “Year 3” of implementation on April 1, 2021. This report is one in a series of product briefs highlighting the tariff benefits for specific commodities and products from Year 3 (2021) to Year 5 (2023) of the agreement. Additional information is available at www.usdajapan.org/usjta/.

Japan: USJTA Treatment for Fresh and Frozen Vegetables

The U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement (USJTA) has been in effect for 16 months, however the timing of Japan’s fiscal year meant that the agreement entered “Year 3” of implementation on April 1, 2021. This report is one in a series of product briefs highlighting the tariff benefits for specific commodities and products from Year 3 (2021) to Year 5 (2023) of the agreement. Additional information is available at www.usdajapan.org/usjta/.

Japan: USJTA Treatment for Pulses

The U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement (USJTA) has been in effect for 17 months, however the timing of Japan’s fiscal year meant that the agreement entered “Year 3” of implementation on April 1, 2021. This report is one in a series of product briefs highlighting the tariff benefits for specific commodities and products from Year 3 (2021) to Year 5 (2023) of the agreement. Additional information is available at www.usdajapan.org/usjta/.

Japan: USJTA Treatment for Vegetable Preparations and Juice

The U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement (USJTA) has been in effect for 16 months, however the timing of Japan’s fiscal year meant that the agreement entered “Year 3” of implementation on April 1, 2021. This report is one in a series of product briefs highlighting the tariff benefits for specific commodities and products from Year 3 (2021) to Year 5 (2023) of the agreement. Additional information is available at www.usdajapan.org/usjta/.

Japan: Voluntary Government Standards for Vegetarian and Vegan Food

Japan has initiated the process to develop Japan Agricultural Standards (JAS) for vegetarian and vegan processed foods and food service. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries plans to publish the draft JAS in November 2021 and finalize them by March 2022. Vegetarian and vegan certification requirements by foreign non-governmental entities will likely inform the development of new voluntary government standards in Japan.

Thailand: Rice Price – Weekly

Export prices for all grades of rice decreased from the previous week as trade activities slowed and the Thai baht appreciated against the U.S. dollar.

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