Ethanol exemption legislation
An Iowan is introducing legislation to clarify ethanol exemptions. Representative Randy Feenstra introduced a bill at the week end to erase ambiguous oil refinery rules. There are multiple legal claims out discussing the issue of what it means to get an extension on waiving renewable fuel standard compliance. A recent supreme court ruling allows some refineries to petition for these extensions even if they have not had an exemption in the past.
Feenstra says that abuses the system and goes against what Congress intended. His bipartisan proposal clarifies the definition of extension to ensure transparency. The bill is supported by the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, Growth Energy, Corn Growers and the National Farmers Union.
Commodity checkoff bill
House lawmakers also introduced a bill aimed at commodity checkoff programs. The Opportunities for Fairness in Farming Act amends checkoff laws to make sure those groups cannot contract with organizations that engage in lobbying, conflicts of interest or anti-competitive activities. It also requires budgets to be published for public inspections and periodic audits.
Representative Dina Titus, a Nevada Democrat, and Nancy Mace, a South Carolina Republican, introduced the bill by saying they want to stop some checkoffs which have helped to create taxpayer-funded lobbying firms.
Made in the USA
The Federal trade Commission on Thursday voted to strengthen the ‘Made in US’ standard. This addresses some cases where imported products that are then produced in the United States can display the ‘Made in USA’ label. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack says Americans depend on accurate labels to make food decisions.
Last year the USDA announced intentions to make rules to address voluntary ‘Made in the U-S-A’ food labels. The F-T-C decision will now strengthen enforcement on what gets the Made in U-S-A standard.
A look at the markets
After a big report and headed into a three day weekend, market analyst Alan Brulger has the week recap:
“Well as advertised the big market mover was Wednesday when USDA put out quarterly grain stocks report and planting acreage report and markets are usually volatile at the end of the quarter for money changing hands and asset allocation by the funds so bottom line is we had 90 cent gains in soybeans on Wednesday and we had limit up 40 cent move on Wednesday, then the market spent the rest of the week and decided the weather forecast argue for more price advance or less. It’s not just weather, there’s also questioning Chinese demand and whether they’re going to buy new crop off the radar. But both China and India are building up rather large troop concentrations in a disputed area of their border. So you have this threat of a black swan event that makes everything change. Cattle markets held up pretty well this week, but the board took the feeder cattle a hit on Wednesday when the corn was reigning but they came back Thursday and Friday. Bottom line is cattle holding together well exports, China surprisingly active in the beef imports they were the third largest on the export report in terms of destinations. The exports are not particularly large compared with what we saw a month ago. But hanging in there.”