The fourth generation California farmer 2300 cows on trade woes of war

  • The fourth generation California farmer 2300 cows on trade woes of war
    FarmIreland.t. E.
    Stephen Mancebo, fourth generation California dairy farm with 2,300 cows, has fought the UPS and downs in his temperamental industry for a quarter century, only to find himself the victim of a US trade war with one of its largest customers in Mexico.
    https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/dairy/dairy-farm-profiles/fourthgeneration-california-dairy-farmer-with-2300-cows-on-trade-war-woes-37181554.html
    https://www.independent.ie/incoming/article37181536.ece/61bce/AUTOCROP/h342/2018-07-27T195241Z_1485953494_RC1D89F6D9C0_RTRMADP_3_USA-TRADE-DAIRY-CALIFORNIA.JPG

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Stephen Mancebo, fourth generation California dairy farm with 2,300 cows, has fought the UPS and downs in his temperamental industry for a quarter century, only to find himself the victim of a US trade war with one of its largest customers in Mexico.

Mancebo, 47, is one of about 1,300 dairy farm families eke out a life in California in the narrow limits of the enterprise, which is largely export-oriented.

For Mancebo and other American farmers, producers and processors that turn milk into cheese, butter and other products, a trade war threatens to destroy the nascent rebound from three years of falling prices that drove nearly 140 California dairies business.

In retaliation for the tariffs that President Donald trump placed on the importation of steel and aluminium, Mexico in late may announced duties on cheeses and other agricultural products and metals from the United States.


Cows are fed in Mancebo Holsteins in Tulare, California, USA, July 24, 2018. The picture was taken on 24 July 2018. Reuters/Jane Ross

Milk and cheese prices on the Chicago Mercantile exchange, a Key part of the formula which defines that producers of dairy products not paid immediately faltered on expectations of rates of Mexico will lead to a surplus.

The volume of export violations has not been determined. But the sharp drop in demand are challenging for dairy farmers whose means of production need to be fed and milked daily.

“Our product is perishable. I can’t sit in my milk for a month or two months,” he told Reuters outside his Mancebo dairy in Tulare, in California’s Central valley. “Those cows can’t be turned off”.

After several years of little if any profit, Mancebo said he was waiting for a turnaround in prices, which could hit its $50,000 to $80,000 a month this year, which allowed him to go even in 2018.

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“Most months I don’t do anything, so to take it a significant loss at this time,” said Mancebo, whose support of the tramp was unchanged, despite the effects of trade policy.

CALIFORNIA’S MOST VULNERABLE

USA is the leading foreign supplier to Mexico of dairy products, including nearly $ 400 million in cheese last year. Dairy operators in California, the top dairy state, are particularly vulnerable in Mexico for a 25% tariff on the cheese.


Employee dairy farm Jorge Salazar milking Holstein cows in Mancebo in Tulare, California, USA, July 24, 2018. The picture was taken on 24 July 2018. Reuters/Jane Ross

California dairies, as Mancebo, export 30 percent of all they produce, compared with 17 percent in the U.S., the dairies on average, and Mexico is their No. 1 buyer.

California accounted for 35 percent of American cheese just last year, exports to Mexico are estimated at 33,600 metric tons (74 million pounds), the economist said Annie AcMoody of the trade group Western organization of Dairy farmers.

But in addition to immediate price fluctuations, dairy exporters USA to worry about losing hard-earned market share to the European Union, which just reached a free trade agreement with Mexico.

In a letter sent to the White house last month, 65 milk producers, processing enterprises and cooperatives from across the country called on trump to reach a compromise with Mexico.


Cows are fed in Mancebo Holsteins in Tulare, California, USA, July 24, 2018. The picture was taken on 24 July 2018. Reuters/Jane Ross

$12 billion aid package trump announced this week, to compensate for the damage to farmers from trade wars may replace some short-term revenue losses, but he will not do anything to recover any market share captured by foreign competitors, said bill Schiek, an economist at the dairy Institute of California. The problems are also growing that China may retaliate against US tariffs with a new set of tariffs on American dairy products.

Schiek said anecdotal evidence shows the orders are canceled in anticipation of export requires softening as obligations of Mexico to add to the cost of U.S.-manufactured cheese, and buyers there turn elsewhere for supplies.

Said AcMoody, even slight fluctuations can undercut American producers of dairy products because international prices are so competitive.

Mancebo said that even as politics trump torturing him, he supported the measures: “our trade deficit need to be addressed.

“And he will fight when it happened,” he said. “So it seems to be holding his breath. The problem is that we hold our breath under water.”

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