China is determined to grow more self-sufficient, but the country is also widely expected to remain a growing importer of meat and grains for years to come as the Chinese economy and demand grows, outstripping production capacity, according to economists and new government forecasts.
The Department of Agriculture expects U.S. farm exports to hit a record $157 billion for fiscal 2021, an increase of $21 billion over the year before, as the global economy recovers and China increases its already strong demand for U.S. corn, soybeans and meat.
European farmers and ranchers offered their support as the EU signed pacts with Mexico, Japan, Singapore and South Korea, but they are raising alarms now over a massive deal with four South American countries that make up the Mercosur trade bloc.
Exports of U.S. beef and pork both experienced a strong finish to the calendar year in December, besting 2019 figures and offering insights into consumer trends around the world and what is yet to come in the new year.
The outgoing Trump administration is tapping unspent USDA funding to provide coronavirus relief to contract producers for the first time while providing supplemental payments to hog farms. USDA also is adjusting payments calculations for many producers who have already received Coronavirus Food Assistance Program payments.
Farmers who were facing a steep drop in government payments in 2021 will instead see a third round of coronavirus relief payments and other producers and ag processors left out of previous aid programs this year will get help this time, under a massive stimulus package and government funding bill.