The Supply Chain Daily provides a curated overview of Panjiva's research and insights covering global trade policy, the logistics sector and industrial supply chains.
Trump-Bolsanaro summit could yield rich harvest for wheat
Meetings between Brazil President Jair Bolsanaro and U.S. President Donald Trump on March 19 will include discussions about trade relations. While a full free trade deal is not on the agenda, U.S. senators have called for improved access for exports of wheat to Brazil. The meeting comes after U.S. wheat exports globally recorded an 11.2% drop year over year to $5.44 billion in 2018.
The slide was largely due to a 70.0% slump in shipments to China. There is potential for significant growth as exports to Brazil were just $63.5 million in 2018, compared to $1.23 billion in 2013. Brazilian importers, including Bunge Ltd., acquired 92.4% of their import requirements from Argentina in 2018. Total Brazilian imports have increased by 22.3% in 2018 compared to a year earlier, followed by a 9.3% year-over-year increase in January.
Brazilian coffee perks up, Starbucks loses its taste
Global coffee exports continued to grow in January with a 2.1% year-over-year improvement. The expansion has been led by increased shipments from Brazil, which climbed 20.9%, marking a rare bright spot for the Brazilian export economy.
The expansion in coffee exports has been broad-based with shipments from Brazil to the European Union growing 18.6% year over year while those to the U.S. were up 18.7% in January. The fastest-growing importer in the U.S. is Grupo Montesanto Tavares, with a 52.8% rise in shipments from Brazil. Sucden Americas Corp.'s imports increased 10.5% while Starbucks Corp. cut its purchases by 10% after a previous increase.
Tariff Quote Watch: Tariff discussions subside as Brexit worries rise
With 96.2% of companies having reported calendar fourth-quarter earnings, there are signs that tariffs on goods from China and of metal are increasingly a business-as-usual issue. Of the nonfinancial corporates, 15.6% spoke about tariffs during earnings calls since Jan. 1, down from 21.6% the prior quarter. However, Brexit is an increasing concern, with 10.9% of companies mentioning it, compared to 2.7% in the second quarter of 2018.
There was less talk of tariffs and Brexit in the metals sector, with 25.2% of calls discussing either, down from 30.7% the prior quarter. The drop may reflect an expectation that tariffs are here to stay. The highest proportion of mentions of either was recorded in the electrical engineering sector as 58.1% of company calls raising the topics, though even that was down from 61.9% the prior quarter. Significant uncertainties surround China tariffs, and a resolution is not due at least until April, while Brexit will hover over the next reporting season.
Toyota takes advantage of USMCA, aims to avoid section 232 tariffs
Toyota Motor Corp. has announced plans to spend $13 billion over the next five years to expand its vehicle and parts manufacturing in the U.S. That is likely in response both to the passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement as well as a move to preempt long-term risks from the ongoing section 232 review of the automotive industry. The firm has already cut its imports from outside North America, shown by a slide of 19.6% year over year in the three months to Feb. 28. That is possibly due to to lower vehicle sales. At the same time, Toyota has scaled up its imports from Mexico to the U.S. by 13.5% in the three months to Jan. 31, including an increase in shipments of body panels.
Boeing's Max problem may minimize aerospace element of US-China deal
Two fatal crashes involving Boeing Co.'s 737 Max aircraft may cut the potential for the Chinese government to include aerospace import commitments as part of a wider trade deal with the U.S. China's imports of aircraft and engines from the U.S. reached $18.2 billion in 2018, or 13.0% of the total. Doubling them would add 15.1% to total U.S. exports to China. The crashes may also hurt Boeing's ability to compete with China's Comac and Europe's Airbus. European exports to China reached €13.2 billion in 2018, up 16.9% year over year, compared to an increase of 13.0% for U.S. exports.
Healthcare helps, electronics hinder India's trade activity
India's bilateral trade activity fell 2.2% year over year in February. That was led by a 5.4% drop in imports after a 0.6% increase in the prior three months and includes a 6.5% slide in imports of electronics goods in February. The latter indicates the tariff-led "Make in India" strategy is delivering on what it has set out to do. Yet, evidence from China and South Korea suggests regional supply chains in electronics are also weak. India's export expansion of 2.5% compared to declining exports seen in four out of five other countries, including China, that have reported February data. The difference may lie in India's healthcare exports, which rose 16.1%.
Christopher Rogers is a senior researcher at Panjiva, which is part of S&P Global Market Intelligence. This content does not constitute investment advice, and the views and opinions expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of S&P Global Market Intelligence.
The Supply Chain Daily has an editorial deadline of 7:30 a.m. ET. Some external links may require a subscription. Links are current at the time of publication. S&P Global Market Intelligence is not responsible if those links are unavailable later.
S&P Global Platts and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.