The Northern Canola Growers Association (NCGA) spoke at a recent meeting with Senator Hoeven, state leaders and USDA Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue to hear concerns about trade related issues. The NCGA highlighted two main items regarding canola:
1) The huge price drop canola growers have experienced given the trade situation;
2) The canola industry request to Ambassador Lighthizer that canola oil achieve the same tariff reduction into Japan as the Canadians just received in December under the CPTPP.
There was universal agreement at the meeting that many commodities are suffering right now, so when it was mentioned that the canola price drop is causing real pain, the Secretary was not surprised. The Secretary reiterated that he did not want to give anyone any assurances that there would be another MFP payment this year.
The NCGA asked for any help canola growers can get – direct aid, MFP payments or some other assistance. The NCGA also pointed out a letter from a frustrated member that represents a lot of frustration from canola growers on how canola prices have dropped along with soybeans since the summer of 2018 and yet no Market Facilitation Payments were provided for canola growers. The NCGA also highlighted the recent situation with Canadian canola exports being blocked into China and the resulting projected increase in ending stocks that is depressing the forward price outlook.
The NCGA said North Dakota is the largest canola producing state in the nation and has five crush plants all located within a 150-mile radius. It was also mentioned that the canola industry has requested that canola oil be granted the same tariff reductions as Canada just obtained under the Comprehensive & Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). This would result in the ability of U.S. canola crush plants to sell canola oil into Japan tariff-free by 2023.
Other items of interest brought up at the meeting included:
- The Secretary said even though huge commitments to buy U.S. commodities have been made by China, we still don’t know the timeline of those purchases.
- He was optimistic a trade deal could happen quickly with Japan.
- Several groups appealed for direct aid at the meeting.