(The same bill was introduced in the last Congress but it was never brought up for consideration on the Senate floor.)
Just as Japan eased import restrictions on U.S. beef, Russia announced a ban on imports of all U.S. beef and pork unless USDA agrees to certify that the products are free of traces of ractopamine. (Ractopamine is a feed additive
that promotes leanness and the international food safety organization has
ruled that meats produced using the additive are safe for human consumption.) So far, USDA has said it will not comply with Russia’s demands. Russia is a key buyer of U.S. beef and pork, with combined shipments valued at more
than $500 million per year.
Last week a court ruled that EPA set the 2012 mandate for cellulosic ethanol too high in an effort to boost the industry. The mandate for last year was set at 8.7 million gallons, far more than was produced. However, almost as soon as the court ruling was reported, EPA set the cellulosic ethanol mandate for 2013 at 14 million gallons. There is growing momentum in Congress to reevaluate the Renewable Fuels Standard mandates. Changes are far from certain, but they are more likely now than they were at this time last year.
End of an era at the Kansas City Board of Trade. CME Group, Inc. plans to close the Trading pits of the KCBT in late June as part of the futures-exchange giant’s 2012 acquisition of that regional exchange. The shift signals an end to nearly 160 Years of trading HRW wheat futures in KC.