Overall Staple Crops Did Well, Tariffs make them Hard to Sell
Early winter storms have begun hitting corn and soybean crops not yet completely harvested in the the northern states. Many were planted late due to spring flooding and are behind the average harvest date. We would expect around 50-60% of those crops already to be up for the winter in the Midwest, where this year only 25-30% have been harvested so far. The moisture and storms are overall impeding the pace of the harvest. Luckily an overabundance was planted. The trade war with China is also a factor, though it appears they went ahead and purchased a good bit of soybeans from Brazil, perhaps reducing risk on how bad the United States harvest goes. The demand for eating corn is down. Exporting larger amounts of corn as ethanol may happen depending on trade agreements.
Wheat crops have been slowed slightly in Canada by the weather as well but not like Argentina or Australia where devastating droughts have taken hold and reduced the export outlooks excessively. Vietnam has suspended imports from Russia for phytosanitary (not meeting disease free standards) issues, that leaves America, Canada and Ukraine to fill the wheat crop void.
Cranberries look to be abundant this winter. The last several years US growers have been introducing Chinese taste buds to them. Ocean spray and Minute Maid have been expanding their market into this new consumer of cranberries, only now to have 40% tariffs put on their product causing demand to plummet. Holiday fruit cakes maybe the rage this year.
There is also a gluttony of pecans. Though 2018 Hurricane Michael effects that ravaged Georgia trees are still being felt, the rest of the country's pecan growers have produced well and Mexico has more than made up for the loss. China put high tariffs on the nut, reducing their imports by about 75% and India has refused to lower their high tariffs. Overall United States pecan prices have fallen and the Georgia crop is looking better than expected with the long dry spell that has been reducing the hay crop yet helping the pecan harvest.
Oysters Largely Died in the Mississippi River Flood Water
Louisiana Oysters have taken a real hit from the historic Mississippi River flooding earlier this year. The fresh water inundation from the flooding and two openings of the Bonnet Carre Spillway have brought ill suited living conditions to the oyster beds. Losses have ranged from 30-100%. Some third generation oyster farmers are closing down. In the hundred years oysters have been an industry there, farmers claim it has never been this bad, including Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill. Oysters are being set aside for the better dishes. Prices are quickly rising. A Po Boy sandwich is becoming a rarity and running near $20 in New Orleans.
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