World Perspectives

Recent Asia Analysis

Defining Worker-Led Trade Policy; Trade Bullying

Defining Worker-Led Trade Policy A session at the Washington International Trade Association today tried to unravel the meaning of the Biden Administration’s so-called worker-led trade policy. Most of the discussion centered on high level economic theory and the mischaracterization of tra...

FOB Prices and Freight Rate App (Updated 8 April)

Ocean Freight Comments - 8 April 2021 By Jay O'Neil Commodity Consulting Following the crazy price action of the first quarter of 2021, dry-bulk markets have considerable rebalancing to do. Over the past three months, markets have been highly unusual whereby the smaller Handysize, and up to Pa...

Interactive Ocean Freight Rates (Updated 8 April)

Ocean Freight Comments - 8 April 2021 By Jay O'Neil Commodity Consulting Following the crazy price action of the first quarter of 2021, dry-bulk markets have considerable rebalancing to do. Over the past three months, markets have been highly unusual whereby the smaller Handysize, and up to...

Pandemic Not Fully Reflected

The Pew Research Center has attracted a lot of ink for its analysis of losses to middle income earners from the pandemic. Its data, derived from World Bank and IMF numbers, show the greatest loss of the middle class in South Asia, followed by East Asia. The advanced economies saw growth in the...

Taiwan – Tip of the Spear

It is unclear which of several geopolitical rifts (Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South China Sea, etc.) between China and the west is going to prove the tipping point toward open conflict but there are ample opportunities. Beijing’s latest move was to reduce and control the number of elect...

Camel’s Nose; Technology and Sustainability; Limits of Sanctions

Camel’s Nose USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack appeared to discount Mexico’s plan to ban glyphosate and GMO corn by saying it would not affect U.S. feed corn being shipped south. However, the U.S. ships a certain amount of white corn to Mexico for human consumption and, more importantly, M...

livestock

ASF Loosens Import Restrictions

The Philippines may increase its pork imports under a reduced tariff by over 600 percent, from 54,210 MT to 404,210 MT to better meet demand and reduce price inflation. The agriculture ministry says around 15 percent of the hog inventory was lost to ASF in 2020 and, as a result, it cannot meet...

Tough Sino-West Balance; Japan Pickle

Tough Sino-West Balance Any hope of comity with China went out the window last week in Anchorage and into the sewer this week over sanctions related to treatment of the Uyghurs. China is making it clear that it will not be somehow characterized as morally inferior to the west. It has pulled man...

Real WTO Problem; Beggars’ Rights; Political Horse-trading

Real WTO Problem The President’s 2021 Trade Agenda and 2020 Annual Report highlights the trade protectionism in India and efforts to change New Delhi’s policies. One area of criticism is “Make in India” campaign but that is not such a unique policy. Many countries are no...

Sustainability Goals; Splintering Transatlantic; Korea Reveals WTO Flaws

Sustainability Goals Returning USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack says that agriculture is ready to embrace the goals of slowing climate change. President Biden has issued several executive orders limiting fossil fuel development and more are forthcoming. However, his centrally planned Build America Be...

livestock

Disproportionate ASF Impacts

While China gets most of the attention on African Swine Fever just because of the volume of production adversely impacted, the Philippines has suffered a larger percentage drop in output. From peak to trough, Chinese pork production fell 30 percent, but Filipino production is off 32.8 percent...

feed-grains soy-oilseeds wheat

Market Commentary: CBOT Falls on Profit Taking, Weak Palm Oil; South American Dryness Returns this Week

The CBOT settled lower under a mix of profit taking and position liquidation after a weekend of mostly favorable weather across South America. Funds were heavy sellers in corn and soybeans, selling some 15,000 and 20,000 contracts, respectively, in each market. The CBOT tends to weaken in the s...

livestock

Next Pork Markets

Global pork exports have grown by 66 percent over the past decade, with China a major reason for the expansion. A major driver for China’s expanded imports over the past year-plus has been African Swine Fever. Now that ASF is under control and China’s domestic hog herd is expanding...

soy-oilseeds

Veg Oil Leads Spike

The UN FAO reports that global agricultural commodity prices rose 3.1 percent in 2020. Though overall commodity prices are still below 2012 levels, vegetable oil prices are now at their highest level since that pivotal year. Global vegetable oil prices rose 4.7 percent in December alone, and we...

Besmirch Strategy Fails; More Quid Pro Quo; Prospects for Biden and 2021

Besmirch Strategy Fails Activists called it an acute health threat, orchestrated petitions and demanded that institutions only serve domestic pork. Despite a well-organized campaign of opposition to importing U.S. pork raised with the beta-agonist growth promoter ractopamine, Taiwan's parliamen...

Coming Currency War; Trees Over People; Punching Above Weight Class

Coming Currency War The dollar is now nearly 13 percent weaker than it was earlier this year and possibly headed lower based on massive deficit spending. The inverse is that other currencies are getting stronger. And for those nations that are export dependent, a stronger currency threatens the...

Stick Picked; Digital Leakage; Baht Caught

Stick Picked In U.S. agriculture, the head of USDA is sugar daddy, handing out checks, buying up surpluses and generally using carrots to obtain environmental improvements. By contrast, EPA is the stick side of the equation, laying down regulatory compliance requirements that impose costs on fa...

Offline is More Fun; Chicken or Egg; Leaving a Goose Egg

Offline is More Fun Today was the first day of this year’s online EU Agricultural Outlook Conference, but more fun was had in the sidebar chats of participants watching the speakers via their computer screens. The first day was dominated by officials explaining the Farm to Fork and Green...

wheat

Global Flour Trade Has Changed

The U.S. was once the largest wheat flour exporter in the world followed by Canada, but that trade now belongs to a different part of the world – Southwest and Central Asia. Turkey and Kazakhstan are the #10 and #13 wheat producing countries, respectively, but together they control 37 per...

feed-grains wheat

Maize Harder to Yield

Maize is harder to grow, or at least harder to grow well. Crop yields vary tremendously across the hundreds of countries where grown but the disparity is more notable for corn. For rice and wheat, the country with the 15th highest yield in these two crops is netting over 60 percent of the yield...

Water Investment

The extremely dry conditions in Argentina illustrate the low level of irrigation in many countries around the world. In terms of number of irrigated hectares, China is number one, followed by India and then the U.S. However, on a percent share of total agricultural land, Japan is by far number...

Biden Trade Policy

President-Elect Joe Biden has not yet named his nominee to become U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) but there are plenty of breadcrumbs that suggest the person will be: 1) conventional; and 2) likely a former Obama Administration official. That has been the pattern for his other economic policy...

Agriculture’s Gig Workers; Final Acts – Part 1; No New Hazards; Geneva Squeeze

Agriculture’s Gig Workers A consortium of leftist, environmental and anti-meat activists is suing U.S. meat companies for marketing their products as produced by independent family farmers. The groups argue that due to the contracting system utilized, the meat is instead the output of cor...

feed-grains soy-oilseeds wheat

Mercosur Regional Analysis

Wheat Concern is rising for the Argentina wheat market after Brazil, the primary buyer of Argentine wheat, announced a tariff-free import quota of 750,000 MT of wheat from non-MERCOSUR origins. At the same time, the RECP free trade agreement might give Australia an advantage selling wheat to de...

Defining Worker-Led Trade Policy; Trade Bullying

Defining Worker-Led Trade Policy A session at the Washington International Trade Association today tried to unravel the meaning of the Biden Administration’s so-called worker-led trade policy. Most of the discussion centered on high level economic theory and the mischaracterization of tra...

FOB Prices and Freight Rate App (Updated 8 April)

Ocean Freight Comments - 8 April 2021 By Jay O'Neil Commodity Consulting Following the crazy price action of the first quarter of 2021, dry-bulk markets have considerable rebalancing to do. Over the past three months, markets have been highly unusual whereby the smaller Handysize, and up to Pa...

Interactive Ocean Freight Rates (Updated 8 April)

Ocean Freight Comments - 8 April 2021 By Jay O'Neil Commodity Consulting Following the crazy price action of the first quarter of 2021, dry-bulk markets have considerable rebalancing to do. Over the past three months, markets have been highly unusual whereby the smaller Handysize, and up to...

Pandemic Not Fully Reflected

The Pew Research Center has attracted a lot of ink for its analysis of losses to middle income earners from the pandemic. Its data, derived from World Bank and IMF numbers, show the greatest loss of the middle class in South Asia, followed by East Asia. The advanced economies saw growth in the...

Taiwan – Tip of the Spear

It is unclear which of several geopolitical rifts (Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South China Sea, etc.) between China and the west is going to prove the tipping point toward open conflict but there are ample opportunities. Beijing’s latest move was to reduce and control the number of elect...

Camel’s Nose; Technology and Sustainability; Limits of Sanctions

Camel’s Nose USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack appeared to discount Mexico’s plan to ban glyphosate and GMO corn by saying it would not affect U.S. feed corn being shipped south. However, the U.S. ships a certain amount of white corn to Mexico for human consumption and, more importantly, M...

livestock

ASF Loosens Import Restrictions

The Philippines may increase its pork imports under a reduced tariff by over 600 percent, from 54,210 MT to 404,210 MT to better meet demand and reduce price inflation. The agriculture ministry says around 15 percent of the hog inventory was lost to ASF in 2020 and, as a result, it cannot meet...

Tough Sino-West Balance; Japan Pickle

Tough Sino-West Balance Any hope of comity with China went out the window last week in Anchorage and into the sewer this week over sanctions related to treatment of the Uyghurs. China is making it clear that it will not be somehow characterized as morally inferior to the west. It has pulled man...

Real WTO Problem; Beggars’ Rights; Political Horse-trading

Real WTO Problem The President’s 2021 Trade Agenda and 2020 Annual Report highlights the trade protectionism in India and efforts to change New Delhi’s policies. One area of criticism is “Make in India” campaign but that is not such a unique policy. Many countries are no...

Sustainability Goals; Splintering Transatlantic; Korea Reveals WTO Flaws

Sustainability Goals Returning USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack says that agriculture is ready to embrace the goals of slowing climate change. President Biden has issued several executive orders limiting fossil fuel development and more are forthcoming. However, his centrally planned Build America Be...

livestock

Disproportionate ASF Impacts

While China gets most of the attention on African Swine Fever just because of the volume of production adversely impacted, the Philippines has suffered a larger percentage drop in output. From peak to trough, Chinese pork production fell 30 percent, but Filipino production is off 32.8 percent...

feed-grains soy-oilseeds wheat

Market Commentary: CBOT Falls on Profit Taking, Weak Palm Oil; South American Dryness Returns this Week

The CBOT settled lower under a mix of profit taking and position liquidation after a weekend of mostly favorable weather across South America. Funds were heavy sellers in corn and soybeans, selling some 15,000 and 20,000 contracts, respectively, in each market. The CBOT tends to weaken in the s...

livestock

Next Pork Markets

Global pork exports have grown by 66 percent over the past decade, with China a major reason for the expansion. A major driver for China’s expanded imports over the past year-plus has been African Swine Fever. Now that ASF is under control and China’s domestic hog herd is expanding...

soy-oilseeds

Veg Oil Leads Spike

The UN FAO reports that global agricultural commodity prices rose 3.1 percent in 2020. Though overall commodity prices are still below 2012 levels, vegetable oil prices are now at their highest level since that pivotal year. Global vegetable oil prices rose 4.7 percent in December alone, and we...

Besmirch Strategy Fails; More Quid Pro Quo; Prospects for Biden and 2021

Besmirch Strategy Fails Activists called it an acute health threat, orchestrated petitions and demanded that institutions only serve domestic pork. Despite a well-organized campaign of opposition to importing U.S. pork raised with the beta-agonist growth promoter ractopamine, Taiwan's parliamen...

Coming Currency War; Trees Over People; Punching Above Weight Class

Coming Currency War The dollar is now nearly 13 percent weaker than it was earlier this year and possibly headed lower based on massive deficit spending. The inverse is that other currencies are getting stronger. And for those nations that are export dependent, a stronger currency threatens the...

Stick Picked; Digital Leakage; Baht Caught

Stick Picked In U.S. agriculture, the head of USDA is sugar daddy, handing out checks, buying up surpluses and generally using carrots to obtain environmental improvements. By contrast, EPA is the stick side of the equation, laying down regulatory compliance requirements that impose costs on fa...

Offline is More Fun; Chicken or Egg; Leaving a Goose Egg

Offline is More Fun Today was the first day of this year’s online EU Agricultural Outlook Conference, but more fun was had in the sidebar chats of participants watching the speakers via their computer screens. The first day was dominated by officials explaining the Farm to Fork and Green...

wheat

Global Flour Trade Has Changed

The U.S. was once the largest wheat flour exporter in the world followed by Canada, but that trade now belongs to a different part of the world – Southwest and Central Asia. Turkey and Kazakhstan are the #10 and #13 wheat producing countries, respectively, but together they control 37 per...

feed-grains wheat

Maize Harder to Yield

Maize is harder to grow, or at least harder to grow well. Crop yields vary tremendously across the hundreds of countries where grown but the disparity is more notable for corn. For rice and wheat, the country with the 15th highest yield in these two crops is netting over 60 percent of the yield...

Water Investment

The extremely dry conditions in Argentina illustrate the low level of irrigation in many countries around the world. In terms of number of irrigated hectares, China is number one, followed by India and then the U.S. However, on a percent share of total agricultural land, Japan is by far number...

Biden Trade Policy

President-Elect Joe Biden has not yet named his nominee to become U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) but there are plenty of breadcrumbs that suggest the person will be: 1) conventional; and 2) likely a former Obama Administration official. That has been the pattern for his other economic policy...

Agriculture’s Gig Workers; Final Acts – Part 1; No New Hazards; Geneva Squeeze

Agriculture’s Gig Workers A consortium of leftist, environmental and anti-meat activists is suing U.S. meat companies for marketing their products as produced by independent family farmers. The groups argue that due to the contracting system utilized, the meat is instead the output of cor...

feed-grains soy-oilseeds wheat

Mercosur Regional Analysis

Wheat Concern is rising for the Argentina wheat market after Brazil, the primary buyer of Argentine wheat, announced a tariff-free import quota of 750,000 MT of wheat from non-MERCOSUR origins. At the same time, the RECP free trade agreement might give Australia an advantage selling wheat to de...

Select Filters to Apply

  • Markets
  • Publications

Search World Perspectives

Sign In to World Perspectives

Don’t have an account yet? Sign Up