U.S. agricultural attaches and their in-country assistants produce the best English-language, Web-available reports on non-U.S. agriculture issues I have seen. Ag Canada has published some market intelligence on U.S. food trends, but I have looked for reports from other government sources (readers: inform me if you have seen other source of ag info I may be missing) and have never found the coverage provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service.
Here are recent reports that may be of interest to readers:
Turkey Fresh Deciduous Annual From the report: MY 2011 is predicted to be a better year both in terms of production and exports as demand from new markets, such as Iraq and Iran, grows.
South Africa Fresh Deciduous Annual From the report: Post forecasts 2011/12 South African apple exports at 312,000 MT on increased available supplies. Post estimates 2010/11 South African apple exports increased nearly four percent to 309,000 MT based on industry reports. The EU, which is the world’s second largest apple importer, is SA’s traditional destination for apples with the UK being the biggest member-state market.
USDA FAS: Report on Fruit Logistica From the report: Visitors to the USA Pavilion could find a wide variety of U.S. produce, ranging from apples, cranberries, mangos and dates to pears, pomegranates, sweet potatoes, sweet onions, tree nuts, and more. The 24 exhibitors, including 4 small and 4 minority-owned companies in the USA Pavilion introduced 53 products and made 305 serious contacts. They reported estimated sales of almost $10 million.
Russia Fresh Deciduous Annual From the report: Fruit consumption in Russia is going up, reaching 71 kg per person in 2010. This trend is likely to continue, supported by a trend toward healthy diets in Russia. Russia produces only one third of the fruit it consumes and therefore relies heavily on imports.
Japan and MRLs: From the report: On October 14, 2011, the Government of Japan held a meeting to brief foreign missions in Tokyo on proposed changes to the MRLs for bensulfuron-methyl, cyclanilide and spinosad. The domestic period for sending comments on these changes ends Monday, November 14, 2011.
Chile Fresh Deciduous Annual From the report: The industry forecasts that production of table grapes, apple and pears for the coming season will be similar to last year’s production, as the winter weather has been favorable.
Mexico drops tariff From the report: On October 21, 2011, the Secretariat of Economy (SE) published in the Diario Oficial (Federal Register) an announcement revoking the retaliatory import tariffs on 99 U.S. agricultural and industrial products. This elimination of tariffs was the second step in the cancelation of tariffs after signing a bilateral memorandum of understanding on July 6, 2011. The value of goods affected in the first seven months of 2011 exceeds $787 million and the value of these goods in 2010 was in excess of $1.5 billion.
Korea-U.S. Free Trade: From the report: Upon implementation of the agreement, an estimated 70 percent of current U.S. orange trade with Korea will be subject to lower tariffs immediately. On “out-of-season” product entering during the March 1-August 31 period, Korea’s 50-percent tariff will immediately be reduced to 30 percent, and will then be reduced to zero in six equal annual installments.
Korea Fresh Produce Market Update: From the report: In 2010, South Korea's fresh fruit and vegetable imports rose significantly due to improvements from the economic downturn of the previous year. Fresh fruit imports from the United States were worth $205 million, up by 56 percent from the previous year, with the U.S. maintaining dominant market shares for citrus and fresh cherries. Fresh vegetable imports were relatively small, amounting to $10 million. The Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement is expected to boost the competitiveness of many goods through tariff cuts and the lifting of various import barriers.