Firming Tone in Birdseeds

PANAMA - Mar 10/18 - SNS -- Sunflower and millet markets in the United States maintained their firming tone through the past week, while Canadian canaryseed was mostly unchanged.

Markets in the United States remain nervous because the U.S. administration's decision to impose a 25% import duty on aluminum and 10% on steel effective the third week of March. Canada and Mexico were exempted as a bargaining chip in efforts to forge a new North American Free Trade Agreement. Other countries might also be exempted.

As much as the move is seen as part of a rise in protectionist sentiment, it is worth noting that new regional trade blocs are emerging. The most recent example is the Trans Pacific Partnership, which the U.S. does not want to join. It will result in preferential access for a wide range of agricultural commodities for net exporting countries such as Canada and Australia.