The following Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) reports were released on Wednesday
Consumer-oriented food and beverage products remain the top U.S. agricultural and food exports to Austria. In 2019, the consumer-oriented sector accounted for almost 60 percent of total U.S. agricultural, fish, and forestry exports to Austria. Consumer trends are creating good market opportunities for organic, health, diet, convenience, and ‘sustainable’ food products. Market opportunities for U.S. products include fish and seafood products, tree nuts, processed fruits and vegetables, bourbon whiskies, fresh fruits and vegetables, wine, pet foods, dried fruits, fruit juices, snack foods, and high-quality beef. However, the COVID-19 crisis and response have impacted the economy and trade and generated uncertainties.
In marketing year (MY) 2019/20, Bulgaria’s total fresh deciduous fruit crop declined by seven percent. Apple production decreased by 13 percent from MY 2018/19, as unfavorable weather conditions reduced yields. In contrast, pear production reached record levels due to higher area harvested and yields. Table grape production was stable. While strong demand drove imports during the first half of MY 2019/20, COVID-19 response measures led to lower demand and reduced imports after March. Fresh consumption decreased, while demand for shelf-stable processed products led to record-high levels of apple and pear processing. Post expects MY 2020/21 fresh consumption will rebound as COVID-19 wanes in 2021.
Despite heightened vigilance and preventive measures imposed by the Belgian Food Safety Agency (FAVV-AFSCA) to avoid domestic poultry exposure to infected migrating birds, highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N5 infected a Belgian broiler farm close to the French border on November 26. This outbreak occurred two weeks after beach walkers found the first infected wild birds on the Belgian seaside.
On November 21, 2020, Canada announced conclusion of an interim trade agreement to mitigate possible trade disruption associated with the United Kingdom leaving the European Union and thereby the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. While the text is not yet public, Canadian officials have indicated the interim agreement will largely preserve current trade between the two countries.
Post estimates cotton production at 29.3 million 480-lb. bales in marketing year (MY) 2020/21 on an area of 13 million hectares. There are increasing reports of pest infestation across various states, but most are localized incidences. Fiber prices have improved due to a sharp rise in government procurement, coupled with rising exports of raw cotton and cotton products. Mill consumption remains constrained at 22.8 million 480-lb. bales as fears of additional lockdown measures continue to affect consumer sentiment.
This report updates the 2019 Agricultural Biotechnology Annual Report. The U.S. exported over $1.8 billion in genetically engineered (GE) products to Indonesia in 2019, including more than $860 million of soybeans. Despite completing biosafety assessments for various GE products, Indonesia has yet to finalize monitoring guidelines for GE crops that would allow for full domestic commercial cultivation. A recently developed “Road Map for Genetically Engineered Products”, led by the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs, has established research and production goals for GE varieties of several staple crops including corn, sugar cane, potato, soybean and rice.
Fresh oyster imports to Japan must comply with Japan’s (i) Specific Standard for Oysters for Raw Consumption and (ii) Handling of Toxic Shellfish Contaminated with Paralytic and Diarrheal Shellfish Poison. This report contains an unofficial translation of these requirements.
In the past year, there have been no major changes in Kazakhstan’s biotechnology policy. Kazakhstan continues to rely on Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) regulations for guidance on biotechnology issues. Genetically engineered (GE) seeds are currently only permitted to be grown in laboratories. Despite success by Kazakhstani researchers in developing new GE varieties, the Government of Kazakhstan shows little interest in developing new regulations more favorable to biotechnology at this time.
On November 25, 2020, Poland’s Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) announced a case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) on a large commercial egg farm in western Poland’s Wielkopolska Province. Although Poland is the European Union’s (EU) largest poultry producer, it is not currently eligible to export poultry meat or eggs to the United States.
Singapore does not have any domestic commercial production of plant biotechnology. As of October 2020, a total of 43 genetically engineered (GE) plant products have been approved for use as food or food ingredients in the country (an increase of two compared to the same time the previous year). Singapore’s Genetic Modification Advisory Committee (GMAC) recently revised its regulations on stacked events to adopt the “high covers low” approach which exempts higher order combinations of stacked events from regulatory assessment if they are derived from prior GMAC-endorsed lower order combinations.