World Perspectives

Recent Europe Analysis

Trade Policy Wowzas; Weighing Risks; Monopoly Hunters

Trade Policy Wowzas It is a long weekend for the commodity futures market, and policymakers have left a bevy of developments to think about, including the following: China: It is still a mercantilist concept, but China is reportedly offering to ramp up a six-year buying spree of U.S. goods, pur...

Diluted Brinksmanship; Dems Pick Trade Leader; Polite or Duplicitous; Glyphocide

Diluted Brinksmanship Politicians do not usually make unpleasant decisions until and unless they are forced into a corner. That is the whole point of brinkmanship in politics - to force a change in position. However, the two current and most prominent efforts at brinkmanship, the U.S. trade war...

wheat feed-grains soy-oilseeds

Black Sea Regional Analysis

Russian Grain Markets: 8-11 January 2019 All domestic grain prices (except for milling rye) rose in RUB expression, but the growth in USD expression was significant due to the strengthening ruble. Meanwhile, the average milling wheat export price increased $2/MT to $240/MT FOB Black Sea, while...

feed-grains soy-oilseeds wheat

Market Commentary

Grain and soy markets tried to generate a “Turnaround Tuesday” during the overnight session but struggled to hold on to minor gains. This difficulty was a signal that Tuesday might be a tough day for the markets, and so it was. Markets assume that China has purchased 5 MMT of soybea...

Pick Your Messenger; Markets Judges are (Flawed) People Too; Betrayals All Around; Common Transatlantic Problems

Pick Your Messenger President Trump assured farmers attending the American Farm Bureau annual meeting that the negotiations with China are going great and they will be the beneficiaries. He said a deal is in the offing due to the duties he imposed on Chinese goods. By contrast, U.S. Trade Repre...

Dark, Happy Winter Thoughts

The U.S. government is headed into a record-long shutdown with no end in sight. Americans are fractured politically. There is even talk of civil war on social media with left and right arguing which side has more firepower: those with illegal guns in coastal inner cities or the armed rednecks i...

Odd Man Up; Antibiotic Correlations; Half-Truths; Supplying the World

Odd Man Up Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is chairman of the powerful U.S. Senate Finance Committee and is at once mainstream and unpredictable. He has said he disagrees with Donald Trump’s use of the national security (Section 232) rationale for extracting concessions from trading partners, and...

Agriculture’s Unique Pedestal; Globalization’s Future

Agriculture’s Unique Pedestal It comes with downsides, but U.S. agriculture continues to be highlighted in a manner that would have been unheard of a few years ago. Analysts would listen keenly for the rare times when a president would make a mere mention of farmers in the annual State of...

Sino-American Mirage; Eye for an Eye; Product Confusion

Sino-American Mirage (Shèn jĭng) The reports out of Beijing are that U.S. and Chinese negotiators have made great progress in their trade talks, enough to extend them for a day. China continues to make positive gestures like soybean purchases and new biotech trait approvals (canola, corn...

wheat feed-grains

Middle East, Mediterranean and Africa Regional Analysis

Regional Updates MIDDLE EASTMEDITERRANEAN COMMENTS Syria reports that four vessels carrying 80,000 MT of Russian wheat have arrived at its Tartous and Latakia ports. Pakistan is tendering to sell 100,000 MT of wheat for export on 11 January 2019. Participation is expected to be very good with b...

wheat feed-grains soy-oilseeds

Southeast Europe Regional Analysis

Milling Wheat The Black Sea market remained about unchanged last week. The holiday period in Russia and Ukraine will continue until the end of this week. Russia’s export pace is expected to decrease significantly in January versus December. The market is still calm as buyers/consumers ant...

Plurilaterals for NTBs; Leaky Law; Big State Power

Plurilateral for NTBs Australia has launched an effort to address the nontariff trade barriers (NTBs) its exporters face. The Aussie beef industry says NTBs cost it A$3.4 billion per year and the nation’s grain growers curated a list of 54 such barriers across 15 markets. But there is no...

feed-grains soy-oilseeds wheat

Making a Market

The results of a recent WPI poll which asked respondents how bullish or bearish they are for grain and soy prices for 2019 were striking. Of the respondents, 47 percent said they are slightly bullish, 41 percent are slightly bearish, 6 percent are very bearish, and 6 percent are neutral. None o...

soy-oilseeds wheat feed-grains

Market Commentary

Traders began the first trading day of 2019 figuratively wearing the blindfold resulting from the lack of USDA information due to the partial government shutdown, which in now in its 13th day. This afternoon, President Trump is meeting again with congressional leaders of both parties in another...

farm-inputs

Phoney Trade War; Stop the Phony War on Biotech; False Plan for Africa

Phoney Trade War In September 1939, Hitler’s army imposed the infamous blitzkrieg attack on Poland and, with the complicity of the Soviet Union, the nation was completely subdued in just over a month. Historically it is known as the start of WWII, but because a half-year passed before Hit...

2019 Will Be Different

Just kidding.  Commodity prices are still going to go up and down. Donald Trump will still be sowing his unique brand of volatility. U.S. House Democrats will investigate, investigate, investigate. The media will repeat over and over that the sky is falling.   No kidding. The current...

wheat feed-grains soy-oilseeds

Southeast Europe Regional Analysis

Milling Wheat The Black Sea market was mostly unchanged last week on limited activity was due to the holiday season in Europe. The Russian domestic wheat market was firm again with values reported $3-9/MT higher in the different regions. Russia’s average monthly exports are expected to fa...

Reassuring Thoughts

Human nature veers toward concern over the future, but facts are irrefutable. As noted by Steven Pinker in Enlightenment Now, everything in the world is getting better: longevity, health, physical and economic security, the environment, etc. This is also true of agriculture, trade and the econo...

The Disruption Game

Trump administration officials meet with their Chinese counterparts the week of 7 January to begin trade negotiations. No one should expect a quick or easy agreement. As should now be transparent to all, Mr. Trump prefers total disruption as a negotiating style. In its ongoing effort to present...

Dour Trade Prognosis; The Pro-Trade Data; Hope versus Expectation

Dour Trade Prognosis Respondents to WPI’s last survey favored a resolution to the U.S.-China trade war in 2019 (see Hope versus Expectation below), but what are the prospects for an agreement? Expert observers are widely split, although they lean toward skepticism. A new Nikkei survey of...

wheat feed-grains soy-oilseeds

Southeast Europe Regional Analysis

Milling Wheat The Black Sea market was firmer last week. Russia’s domestic prices were $2-6/MT higher in different regions. Meanwhile, it has exported approximately 23 MMT from the start of the campaign, and the range of estimates for the final total is 32-36.5 MMT. The export surplus rem...

2018: Hot or Not; 2019 Senate Focus; China’s Curious Pain

2018: Hot or Not Where one spends precious time is important to both the individual and those wanting some of that person’s time. A review of the readership of this analyst’s policy rantings during 2018 indicates perhaps they were too much of just that: repetitious shouting that, li...

Article 1 versus 2; Whale of a Deal; European Breakaways

Article I versus 2 The Congress, as enumerated in Article 1 of the American Constitution, holds more powers than the Executive Branch as outlined in Article 2. However, for the sake of efficiency and speed of execution, the legislative branch has ceded authority over the years to the presidency...

wheat feed-grains

Tight 2018/19 EU Grain Outlook

Grain market chatter has tended toward things like the big U.S. crops, prospects for large South American crops, tightening world wheat and corn stocks but burdensome soybean stocks, trade disputes and a number of other topics that have had their moment of attention. The EU is seldom mentioned...

Trade Policy Wowzas; Weighing Risks; Monopoly Hunters

Trade Policy Wowzas It is a long weekend for the commodity futures market, and policymakers have left a bevy of developments to think about, including the following: China: It is still a mercantilist concept, but China is reportedly offering to ramp up a six-year buying spree of U.S. goods, pur...

Diluted Brinksmanship; Dems Pick Trade Leader; Polite or Duplicitous; Glyphocide

Diluted Brinksmanship Politicians do not usually make unpleasant decisions until and unless they are forced into a corner. That is the whole point of brinkmanship in politics - to force a change in position. However, the two current and most prominent efforts at brinkmanship, the U.S. trade war...

wheat feed-grains soy-oilseeds

Black Sea Regional Analysis

Russian Grain Markets: 8-11 January 2019 All domestic grain prices (except for milling rye) rose in RUB expression, but the growth in USD expression was significant due to the strengthening ruble. Meanwhile, the average milling wheat export price increased $2/MT to $240/MT FOB Black Sea, while...

feed-grains soy-oilseeds wheat

Market Commentary

Grain and soy markets tried to generate a “Turnaround Tuesday” during the overnight session but struggled to hold on to minor gains. This difficulty was a signal that Tuesday might be a tough day for the markets, and so it was. Markets assume that China has purchased 5 MMT of soybea...

Pick Your Messenger; Markets Judges are (Flawed) People Too; Betrayals All Around; Common Transatlantic Problems

Pick Your Messenger President Trump assured farmers attending the American Farm Bureau annual meeting that the negotiations with China are going great and they will be the beneficiaries. He said a deal is in the offing due to the duties he imposed on Chinese goods. By contrast, U.S. Trade Repre...

Dark, Happy Winter Thoughts

The U.S. government is headed into a record-long shutdown with no end in sight. Americans are fractured politically. There is even talk of civil war on social media with left and right arguing which side has more firepower: those with illegal guns in coastal inner cities or the armed rednecks i...

Odd Man Up; Antibiotic Correlations; Half-Truths; Supplying the World

Odd Man Up Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is chairman of the powerful U.S. Senate Finance Committee and is at once mainstream and unpredictable. He has said he disagrees with Donald Trump’s use of the national security (Section 232) rationale for extracting concessions from trading partners, and...

Agriculture’s Unique Pedestal; Globalization’s Future

Agriculture’s Unique Pedestal It comes with downsides, but U.S. agriculture continues to be highlighted in a manner that would have been unheard of a few years ago. Analysts would listen keenly for the rare times when a president would make a mere mention of farmers in the annual State of...

Sino-American Mirage; Eye for an Eye; Product Confusion

Sino-American Mirage (Shèn jĭng) The reports out of Beijing are that U.S. and Chinese negotiators have made great progress in their trade talks, enough to extend them for a day. China continues to make positive gestures like soybean purchases and new biotech trait approvals (canola, corn...

wheat feed-grains

Middle East, Mediterranean and Africa Regional Analysis

Regional Updates MIDDLE EASTMEDITERRANEAN COMMENTS Syria reports that four vessels carrying 80,000 MT of Russian wheat have arrived at its Tartous and Latakia ports. Pakistan is tendering to sell 100,000 MT of wheat for export on 11 January 2019. Participation is expected to be very good with b...

wheat feed-grains soy-oilseeds

Southeast Europe Regional Analysis

Milling Wheat The Black Sea market remained about unchanged last week. The holiday period in Russia and Ukraine will continue until the end of this week. Russia’s export pace is expected to decrease significantly in January versus December. The market is still calm as buyers/consumers ant...

Plurilaterals for NTBs; Leaky Law; Big State Power

Plurilateral for NTBs Australia has launched an effort to address the nontariff trade barriers (NTBs) its exporters face. The Aussie beef industry says NTBs cost it A$3.4 billion per year and the nation’s grain growers curated a list of 54 such barriers across 15 markets. But there is no...

feed-grains soy-oilseeds wheat

Making a Market

The results of a recent WPI poll which asked respondents how bullish or bearish they are for grain and soy prices for 2019 were striking. Of the respondents, 47 percent said they are slightly bullish, 41 percent are slightly bearish, 6 percent are very bearish, and 6 percent are neutral. None o...

soy-oilseeds wheat feed-grains

Market Commentary

Traders began the first trading day of 2019 figuratively wearing the blindfold resulting from the lack of USDA information due to the partial government shutdown, which in now in its 13th day. This afternoon, President Trump is meeting again with congressional leaders of both parties in another...

farm-inputs

Phoney Trade War; Stop the Phony War on Biotech; False Plan for Africa

Phoney Trade War In September 1939, Hitler’s army imposed the infamous blitzkrieg attack on Poland and, with the complicity of the Soviet Union, the nation was completely subdued in just over a month. Historically it is known as the start of WWII, but because a half-year passed before Hit...

2019 Will Be Different

Just kidding.  Commodity prices are still going to go up and down. Donald Trump will still be sowing his unique brand of volatility. U.S. House Democrats will investigate, investigate, investigate. The media will repeat over and over that the sky is falling.   No kidding. The current...

wheat feed-grains soy-oilseeds

Southeast Europe Regional Analysis

Milling Wheat The Black Sea market was mostly unchanged last week on limited activity was due to the holiday season in Europe. The Russian domestic wheat market was firm again with values reported $3-9/MT higher in the different regions. Russia’s average monthly exports are expected to fa...

Reassuring Thoughts

Human nature veers toward concern over the future, but facts are irrefutable. As noted by Steven Pinker in Enlightenment Now, everything in the world is getting better: longevity, health, physical and economic security, the environment, etc. This is also true of agriculture, trade and the econo...

The Disruption Game

Trump administration officials meet with their Chinese counterparts the week of 7 January to begin trade negotiations. No one should expect a quick or easy agreement. As should now be transparent to all, Mr. Trump prefers total disruption as a negotiating style. In its ongoing effort to present...

Dour Trade Prognosis; The Pro-Trade Data; Hope versus Expectation

Dour Trade Prognosis Respondents to WPI’s last survey favored a resolution to the U.S.-China trade war in 2019 (see Hope versus Expectation below), but what are the prospects for an agreement? Expert observers are widely split, although they lean toward skepticism. A new Nikkei survey of...

wheat feed-grains soy-oilseeds

Southeast Europe Regional Analysis

Milling Wheat The Black Sea market was firmer last week. Russia’s domestic prices were $2-6/MT higher in different regions. Meanwhile, it has exported approximately 23 MMT from the start of the campaign, and the range of estimates for the final total is 32-36.5 MMT. The export surplus rem...

2018: Hot or Not; 2019 Senate Focus; China’s Curious Pain

2018: Hot or Not Where one spends precious time is important to both the individual and those wanting some of that person’s time. A review of the readership of this analyst’s policy rantings during 2018 indicates perhaps they were too much of just that: repetitious shouting that, li...

Article 1 versus 2; Whale of a Deal; European Breakaways

Article I versus 2 The Congress, as enumerated in Article 1 of the American Constitution, holds more powers than the Executive Branch as outlined in Article 2. However, for the sake of efficiency and speed of execution, the legislative branch has ceded authority over the years to the presidency...

wheat feed-grains

Tight 2018/19 EU Grain Outlook

Grain market chatter has tended toward things like the big U.S. crops, prospects for large South American crops, tightening world wheat and corn stocks but burdensome soybean stocks, trade disputes and a number of other topics that have had their moment of attention. The EU is seldom mentioned...

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