For the Week Ending December 22, 2017
December 22, 2017
Editor’s Note: Due to the Christmas Holiday, Capital Update will not be published next week. Merry Christmas!
HOUSE AND SENATE TAX REFORM PACKAGE SIGNED INTO LAW
The House and Senate this week passed the final version of their tax reform package, the first of its kind in more than 30 years. The package includes an income tax cut to 20 percent for pass-through businesses, a cut to 21 percent for corporations and a doubling of the exemption for those subject to the estate tax. An NPPC study on an earlier version of the bill found it will be marginally beneficial for U.S. pork producers. The bill was signed into law by the president Friday morning.
SOUTH KOREAN GOVERNMENT READY TO RENEGOTIATE ‘KORUS’
Following two rounds of public hearings, the South Korean government this week submitted to parliament its plan for renegotiating the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) and announced that it is now ready to begin renegotiations. This comes after the United States and South Korea in early November agreed to update KORUS. For the United States to officially begin the renegotiation process, the Trump administration must send a letter to Congress notifying lawmakers of its intention to launch KORUS talks in 90 days, hold two public hearings and disclose 30 days prior to the launch of the talks its goals for the renegotiation. NPPC continues to urge the administration to maintain zero-tariff treatment for U.S. pork exported to Korea, the industry’s fifth-largest export market.
USDA QUARTLERY HOGS AND PIGS REPORT RELEASED
The U. S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released the Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report on Friday. The report presents data on the U.S. pig crop, including inventory number by class, weight group, farrowings and farrowing intentions. Total hog inventory on Dec. 1 was 73.23 million head, 2.4 percent higher than a year ago but slightly lower than the inventory on Sept. 1. Market hog inventory was an all-time high for the first of December at 67.051 million head, 2.5 percent higher year over year. Pigs saved per litter was a record for the September-November timeframe at 10.74. Most estimates were marginally larger than analyst expectations, but futures markets appeared unfazed following the report’s release.
PORK INDUSTRY SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION OPEN
NPPC is currently taking applications for the 2018 Lois Britt Memorial Pork Industry Scholarship program, which is sponsored by CME Group and the National Pork Industry Foundation. The program was introduced in 1990 by CME Group and NPPC to celebrate the 25th anniversary of CME hog futures and was renamed in 2006 to honor late-NPPC board member Lois Britt. A lifetime supporter of agriculture, Britt spent 34 years with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service, spending the last 15 years of her career with Smithfield Hog Production. The scholarship program annually awards $2,500 scholarships to 10 students who intend to pursue a career in the pork industry. Applications for this opportunity are due Jan. 5, 2018. More information on the program is available at www.nppc.org or by clicking here.
U.S. AG CENSUS ON THE HORIZON
American farmers and ranchers, including U.S. pork producers, will soon receive the 2017 Census of Agriculture. The questionnaire, distributed by the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), can be returned via mail or by online submission forms. All submissions are due Feb. 5, 2018.