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Mexico Dry Bean Crop May Fall Short

The U.S. Dry Bean Council’s re-survey of the Mexican 2019 Spring-Summer dry bean crop confirmed definitively that the bean planting surface was reduced as a result of the drought from June through August,. As a result, production is estimated at 417,101 metric tons, 54 percent less than SIAP’s (Mexico’s agricultural data Secretariat) estimates and 52.5 percent less than the average in the last seven Spring-Summer cycles.
 
Total production for Mexico’s two dry bean crops of the 2019 agricultural year is expected to reach 700,298 metric tons, 43 percent short of SIAP’s projections and 38 percent below average production levels. Additionally, the estimated bean production, is not enough to trigger the use of the government’s dry bean support program. Read more.

Rallying Support for USMCA Ratification

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, along with former agriculture secretaries, held a press conference on Thursday to rally support for the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. There is a window of opportunity for Congress to ratify the agreement between now and the end of the year. One concern from House Democrats is labor provisions. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says there are enforceability consequences in the USMCA to ensure labor concerns are addressed. Read more.
 
The U.S. Dry Bean Council, including the Northarvest Bean Grower Association, has also sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Robert Lighthizer asking for ratification of the USMCA. That letter can be read here.

Is It Too Late for the Mexico Crop?

Over the past few weeks, the U.S. Dry Bean Council has been reporting dry conditions in Mexico dry bean growing regions and offering projections about the potential impact on this year’s production levels. A lack of rain occurred during a critical time in the planting process. Therefore, most reporting, combined with the observations of an USDBC agronomist, make it increasingly certain that lack of planting, late planting and late rains will all affect production levels. Read more.

Chinese Dry Bean Production, Exports Continue to Decrease

According to the U.S. Dry Bean Council, the first planting and production report from China indicates dry edible bean planting areas in major Chinese production regions continues to decline. China’s total dry bean production is expected to be 166,000 metric tons, a decrease of 23 percent from 2018. Additionally, Chinese exports of dry beans have declined over the past five consecutive years (in value terms), while domestic consumption has kept growing. Exports in 2018 were down almost 25 percent from 2017 at 211,000 MT, and down 66.4 percent from 2013. Read more.

NDSU Study Looks at the Impact of EU Tariffs

A study from North Dakota State University, commissioned by the U.S. Dry Bean Council, concluded that retaliatory tariffs by the European Union have put U.S. farmers at a price disadvantage in international markets. This has resulted in reduced exports and potentially lost export markets in the future.
 
The study looked at the impact of tariffs on the three principal types of dry beans exported to the EU; dark red kidney, navy, and Great Northern beans. NDSU researchers concluded that tariff levels must reach an inflection point, or key level, before export amounts are negatively impacted.
 

U.S. Dry Bean Council Holds Summer Board Meeting

The U.S. Dry Bean Council’s summer board meeting took place July 19 and 20 in Snowmass, Colorado in conjunction with the U.S. Dry Bean Convention. This year’s meeting focused on USDBC’s response to the current trade environment and the downturn in global exports.
 
The Agricultural Affairs and International Promotion Committees both discussed and defined several new approaches to shoring up global markets and expressing industry policy priorities. That includes another Washington D.C. Fly-In in the spring of 2020, and the implementation of several new trade opportunities under the new Agricultural Trade Promotion program.
 

Promising Niche Market Opportunities in Peru

The U.S. Dry Bean Council recently concluded a fact-finding mission to Peru. U.S. agricultural exports to Peru increased from $424 million in 2008 to $1.3 billion in 2018. Currently, the U.S. is the largest agricultural product supplier with 31 percent market share. About two-thirds of U.S. agricultural goods enter the country duty free, including dry beans. In marketing year 2017/18, the U.S. exported 4,147 metric tons of dry beans to Peru. This is due primarily to lower Peruvian dry bean production and increased demand for navy beans for food assistance programs, which drove up U.S. exports.
 

Agricultural Trade Promotion Funding Awarded for Dry Beans

USDA has awarded $100 million to 48 organizations through the Agricultural Trade Promotion Program. The program aims to help U.S. farmers identify and access new export markets. The U.S. Dry Bean Council has received over $2 million in funding, with $1.4 million awarded in January and another $615,000 in July.
 
More details can be found here.

Dry Bean Trade Mission to Argentina

U.S. Dry Bean Council representatives traveled to Argentina in June 2019 to meet with growers, agronomists, processors, agricultural technology experts and traders/exporters. While there, they gained a better understanding of the dry bean value chain in Argentina and trends in production and international marketing. Representatives from the Northarvest region included John Berthold, dealer and president of Green Valley Bean Company in Park Rapids, Minnesota, and Mark Dombeck, a bean grower near Perham, Minnesota.
 

Social Media Campaign Promotes Dry Beans in Turkey

 
With support from the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service’s Agricultural Trade Promotion program, the U.S. Dry Bean Council kicked off a social media campaign in Turkey. The goal is to educate Turkish consumers about all dry bean classes grown in the United States and increase U.S. exports to Turkey. Although they consume dry beans virtually every day, few Turkish consumers know that the U.S. is a major supplier of dry beans.
 
The campaign features recipes and weekly meal plans on Facebook and Instagram, the two largest social media platforms in Turkey. A second component of the program is the creation of a Turkish-language website to provide consumers with information regarding the types of dry beans that the U.S. has to offer, as well as the health benefits.