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Crunch at Ports May Mean Crisis for American Farms

The New York Times – “…Backlogs and cancellations are hitting growers as costs rise, profits slump and overseas customers shop elsewhere. A supply chain crisis for imports has grabbed national headlines and attracted the attention of the Biden administration, as shoppers fret about securing gifts in time for the holidays and as strong consumer demand for couches, electronics, toys and clothing pushes inflation to its highest level in three decades. Yet another crisis is also unfolding for American farm exports. The same congestion at U.S. ports and shortage of truck drivers that have brought the flow of some goods to a halt have also left farmers struggling to get their cargo abroad and fulfill contracts before food supplies go bad. Ships now take weeks, rather than days, to unload at the ports, and backed-up shippers are so desperate to return to Asia to pick up more goods that they often leave the United States with empty containers rather than wait for American farmers to fill them up. The National Milk Producers Federation estimates that shipping disruptions have cost the U.S. dairy industry nearly $1 billion in the first half of the year in terms of higher shipping and inventory costs, lost export volume and price deterioration…”

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