Tags: japan | corn | farmers | trump

US-Japan Corn Deal May Not Be Necessary

US-Japan Corn Deal May Not Be Necessary
A rain storm is seen over a corn field in Oskaloosa, Iowa. (Alex Edelman/AFP/Getty)
 

By    |   Sunday, 08 September 2019 04:04 PM

President Donald Trump's insistence that Japan could help American farmers may end up being fake news as Japan says it likely won't need to increase its U.S. corn imports by very much.

Japan is said to be suffering from a corn bug infestation, which Trump pointed to as a way for U.S. farmers to make up for the money they're losing as part of the trade war with China. But Japanese officials said the bug problem isn't a big enough issue that they are in dire need of more American corn.

According to The Wall Street Journal, an official at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said, "If the pest damage turns out to be insignificant, the amount of purchases may not change much."

Japan, the Journal noted, is the second largest importer of American corn behind Mexico. But the total amount of annual imports measures just 11 million metric tons, a relatively small number in the global trading game. Bumping up its imports to account for a pest infestation wouldn't change the bottom figure all that much.

Trump met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the recent Group of Seven summit in France, and the pair discussed a deal for the U.S. to sell Japan excess stock of corn that's piling up.

Japan, Trump said while standing next to Abe, will be "buying all of that corn" in a deal that could be worth "hundreds of millions of dollars."

The problem is, the Japanese agriculture industry doesn't seem to be on the same page.

According to the Nikkei Asian Review, the type of corn hit by the pest in Japan is roughage corn, while the American corn that's being stockpiled as it waits to be sold from U.S. farms is concentrate corn — which involves using mostly the kernels and little else from each ear.

"Feed makers don't increase procurement unless there is actual demand," a source at a major trading house told the Nikkei Asian Review. "Can we really buy American corn ahead of schedule when we don't know where it will go?"

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President Donald Trump's insistence that Japan could help American farmers may end up being fake news as Japan says it likely won't need to increase its U.S. corn imports by very much.
japan, corn, farmers, trump
348
2019-04-08
Sunday, 08 September 2019 04:04 PM
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