September 29, 2016

WTO Warn Global Trade Growth At Slowest Levels Since 2009

A recent report by the World Trade Organization is warning that global trade is expected to grow by just 1.7% in 2016, well below earlier projected levels of 2.8%.  It was just a year ago the organization had projected as much as a 3.9% rate of growth in 2016.  If realized, this would be the slowest global trade growth since the financial crisis of 2009.  The Organization also projected global GDP growth of 2.2%.

The Organization attributed the decline to a few different factors, including the now infamous Brexit vote in June and slowing growth of areas like Brazil and China.  They also voiced concern that growing anti-trade rhetoric and increasingly volatile monetary policy will make recoveries difficult.

WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo said the report should serve as a wake up call to international communities who have seen increasing calls for protectionist measures.

“The dramatic slowing of trade growth is serious and should serve as a wake-up call.  It is particularly concerning in the context of growing anti-globalization sentiment.  We need to make sure that this does not translate into misguided policies that could make the situation much worse, not only from the perspective of trade but also for job creation and economic growth and development which are so closely linked to an open trading system”

The 1.7% trade growth would be the first time in 15 years that international trade growth has lagged the growth of the world economy as a whole.  The areas seeing the strongest revisions lower compared to the last WTO report in April were Asia, now projected at just 0.3% growth compared to 3.4% in April, and North America revised down to 0.7% compared 3.1% previously


Cautious Optimism on Beef Trade with China

cattle-conventionNew regulations announced on Thursday mean that some American beef is welcome back in China.  The devil is going to be in the details when it comes to when and how this market will open. USDA officials who are working with China’s inspection authorities to approve certificates and protocols to export beef to the country.

We spoke with North Dakota Stockmen’s Association President Steve Brooks about the topic – on the sidelines of the NDSA’s 87th annual convention and trade show in Minot.

Steve Brooks on China

Thirteen years ago, China banned U.S. beef imports. The move followed confirmation of a case of (BSE) in a dairy cow in Washington State.

By far, the largest seller of beef to China is Australia, with about 40% of the market. That country has seen herd numbers plummet to a 20-year low recently, due to increased demand and drought.



Mexican Trade Delegation To Tour North Dakota Soybean Production

image002The North Dakota Soybean Council will be hosting a Mexican Trade Team on Friday, September 23, 2016.  The guests will tour Alton Grain Terminal, Colfax Elevator, and area soybean farms.  North Dakota Soybean Council staff will be accompanying the group to answer questions from the guests and promote soybeans grown in the state.

The purpose of the visit is to build relationships between North Dakota soybean producers and international customers, and to educate them on the quality of North Dakota soybeans and purchasing opportunities for livestock feed.  The members of the trade team represent the animal feed industry in Mexico.


SCHEDULE – Friday, Sept. 23rd:

9:00 a.m.        Depart for Alton Grain Terminal – Hillsboro

10:30 a.m.      Lovas Family Farm – Hillsboro

Joel Thorsrud Farm – Hillsboro


1:00 p.m.        Depart for Ryan Richard Family Farm – Fargo

2:00 p.m.        Depart for Colfax Elevator



For questions regarding the delegation’s schedule and exact locations on Friday, September 23rd, please contact ND Soybean Council Marketing Director Stephanie Sinner on her cell phone at (701) 373-5226 or by email at