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January 17, 2019 | FBN Insights | Kevin McNew

USDA Recalls Workers

About 2,500 FSA employees who have been furloughed by shutdown have been called back to work without pay

USDA Recalls Workers to Help With Farm Loans & Taxes

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will reopen about 980 Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices for three days starting on Thursday to help process farm loans and tax documents during the partial federal government shutdown. About 2,500 FSA employees who have been furloughed by the partial shutdown have been called back to work without pay, the department said in a statement on Wednesday. It said the offices would be open Thursday, Friday and Tuesday before closing again. 983 of the agency's 2,124 offices will be open; at least one office will be open in each state.

What does this mean for the U.S. farmer? Given that January is the heart renewal season for agricultural loans, the temporary hours should provide some relief.  FBN members should contact their local FSA offices for hours.  


French Wheat Prices Muted By Slow Exports

With France being the EU’s top wheat exporter, latest data showed that soft wheat exports remained well below last season's, with shipments of 8.6 MMT so far in 2018/19, -26% YoY.  Expectations that dwindling supplies in Russia would create export demand for EU and U.S. wheat were also tempered by confirmation of the Russian agriculture ministry's outlook for 2018/19 grain shipments. Aside of Algeria, French wheat exports depend on gaining market share from sales into Morocco, Egypt and other North African countries.   

What does this mean for the U.S. farmer?  The lack of French wheat competitiveness does not translate well for SRW and low-protein HRW.  If the French FOB and Matif futures prices need to decline to make French wheat competitive versus Black Sea wheat this can limit the price appreciation of U.S. HRW and SRW futures.      


Brazil Consultant Celeres Cuts Soy Production By 5 MMT

Celeres gets in on the action and reduces Brazil’s soy crop to 117.2 MMT from 122.1 MMT on dryness and hot temperatures. Céleres also cut its projection of the first corn harvest of the crop cycle to 28 MMT from 29 MMT due to below-average rains.

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

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