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June 29, 2020 | FBN Insights | Kevin McNew

U.S. Food Exporters Sign Safety Declarations

Exporters are sending safety letters with cargoes instead of Covid-19 free declarations

US Food Exporters Sign Safety Declarations  

  • Exporters are sending safety letters with cargoes instead of Covid-19 free declarations requested by China.
  • Letters only assure shipments have been handled consistent with industry safety standards and medical guidelines.
  • Exporters feel they can’t guarantee shipments will remain free of coronavirus after they leave their facilities.
  • Shippers are looking to federal agriculture officials or broader industry groups for a unified response.
  • China  custom officials have not halted any cargoes since stopping some meat shipments. 

FBN’s Take On What It Means: It’s understandable that exporters would be hesitant to guarantee their cargoes are “coronavirus free” as they have no control once they leave port. Some, like Tyson Foods, have signed off on the certification because they are confident in guidance that Covid-19 is not spread via food. The problem may be in how the certificates or lack thereof are handled by customs officials and whether any shipments are refused. 

French Wheat Crop Condition Unchanged 

  • The French soft wheat crop was rated 56% good to excellent, and has been the same for four straight weeks.
  • The rating is still the lowest since 2011 and is below the 80% good to excellent condition at the same time last year.
  • Soft wheat crop progress is running about twelve days ahead of average, which will allow harvest to start earlier than usual.
  • Harvest of barley and durum is already underway.
  • Conditions for barley, durum and corn were also seen as mostly steady.

FBN’s Take On What It Means: Most are expecting lower French wheat production due to the drier weather seen this spring, but timely rains last month likely stabilized conditions and prevented further deterioration. As harvest activity increases, it will likely keep pressure on prices which have recently fallen to contract lows. 

The risk of trading futures, hedging, and speculating can be substantial. FBN BR LLC (NFA ID: 0508695)

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