Brazil, India, US and EU Try to Break Doha’s Farm Subsidies Deadlock

Cornfield in Brazil Brazilian, Indian, American and European officials are meeting today in India for the first talks between all four key members of the World Trade Organization since negotiations broke down last July over differences on farm subsidies.

Senior trade officials from the United States, the European Union, Brazil and India met Wednesday in New Delhi, India, to break the deadlock over global trade talks. Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim told reporters that the "differences are slowly narrowing."

The "Doha Round" of World Trade Organization (WTO) talks is stalled over demands for rich nations to cut agricultural subsidies that make it difficult for farm products from poor nations to compete.  Rich nations want poor nations to boost access to their markets for goods from developed nations.

The talks include some of the largest developed nations and some of the largest developing countries.  Getting an agreement among these trading powers is a key step toward crafting an agreement acceptable to the rest of the WTO's 150 members.

Brazil's Grain

By the end of this month, 70% of Brazil's national grain production for the 2006/2007 crop will already be harvested. The information was supplied by the Crop Survey and Assessment manager at the National Food Supply Company (Conab), Eledon Pereira de Oliveira.

The volume will account for 91 million tons out of a total 131.1 million tons forecasted for the current crop.

The main cultures to be harvested are summer cultures. According to Eledon, by the end of April, 95% of the soy crop, estimated in 58 million tons, will have been harvested.

The first corn crop (corn yields two crops a year), estimated at 36.6 million tons, should amount to 70% of the total crop by the end of this month. Harvest for the second corn crop will begin late this month.

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