World Perspectives

Recent Macroeconomics Analysis

The Daily Onion

Starches and protein are the largest caloric components of the western diet and WPI analyzes them all day long. Notably, the onion is one of the most important components in the Indian diet. Periodically, there is the risk of civil unrest due to production shortfalls of the vegetable. Consequen...

feed-grains soy-oilseeds wheat

Too Many Market Threads

These days we can sympathize with commercial grain and soy traders and fund managers as they try to figure out what futures prices and cash prices are likely to do and equally important, why they will do it. This is never an easy task, but currently it seems to us that there are more than the u...

biofuel

The Political/Economic Situation at Labor Day

Monday is the U.S. Labor Day holiday – it marks several things, including the nominal end of summer. With the end of summer comes a drop in gasoline demand (read ethanol) as vacation travel ends. There will be a temporary increase in meat demand for holiday barbecues, but then a seasonal...

Notable Changes in U.S. Agricultural Trade

In the year of COVID, it is difficult to assign precise reasons for changes in trade flows but following are some observations about U.S. agricultural trade in the year to date:  U.S. exports to India have taken the largest fall, but Bangladesh next door has seen the largest increase.&nb...

Aid and Trade in the COVID Election Season

Initial unemployment claims topped 1 million for the second week in a row after previously declining below that psychological line. Total initial claims were 1,006,000, which was still almost 9 percent lower than the week before but not as good as had been hoped for a couple of weeks ago. This...

Inflation/Dollar Outlooks

The flood of easy money from the U.S. Federal Reserve intended to prop up the economy in the face of COVID-19 should be inflationary. The Fed has tipped its hand by expressing a desire for inflation above its previous 2 percent cap. Food and energy are typically treated separately than core inf...

feed-grains soy-oilseeds wheat

Ag Review - August 2020

WPI's monthly publication features a review of the past month's market and policy developments. This issue covers such topics as the commodity markets and what to watch, the status of COVID legislation and agriculture spending, the future of global trade, an analysis of markets in China and the...

feed-grains soy-oilseeds wheat

Finally, A Market to Watch

It seems as though grain and soy markets have been struggling under the weight of very large supplies and stagnant demand forever. No doubt this is an exaggeration, but as a broad generalization, markets have been mainly supply driven during the last few years. Markets have also been battered b...

Flawed Metrics

Yet another flawed study criticizes large scale farms and wrongly equates them with greater environmental damage. Kimberly Nicholas of the Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS) says that most EU agricultural subsidies go to intensively farmed areas that cause the most envir...

biofuel feed-grains

Ethanol Durability

Data from the first half of 2020 shows the pandemic’s impact on trade with U.S. agricultural exports down 3 percent compared with the same period in 2019. Meanwhile, there was a 4 percent drop in ethanol exports, which is a surprisingly small amount. While food demand changed, it mostly i...

Commodities as Investments – Again

We note with interest that several financial advisory services have begun to tout commodities as something an investor might consider adding to his portfolio. This is in line with comments from the likes of Goldman Sachs that commodities are underpriced and due for a rally in this environment o...

Drop in Food Borne Illnesses

At least anecdotally, some food industry lawyers report a drop-off in food borne illness litigation cases this year. Official data is reported by the Centers for Disease Control annually, but litigants are a proxy for industry developments. Part of the reason could be the switch in consumption...

The Daily Onion

Starches and protein are the largest caloric components of the western diet and WPI analyzes them all day long. Notably, the onion is one of the most important components in the Indian diet. Periodically, there is the risk of civil unrest due to production shortfalls of the vegetable. Consequen...

feed-grains soy-oilseeds wheat

Too Many Market Threads

These days we can sympathize with commercial grain and soy traders and fund managers as they try to figure out what futures prices and cash prices are likely to do and equally important, why they will do it. This is never an easy task, but currently it seems to us that there are more than the u...

biofuel

The Political/Economic Situation at Labor Day

Monday is the U.S. Labor Day holiday – it marks several things, including the nominal end of summer. With the end of summer comes a drop in gasoline demand (read ethanol) as vacation travel ends. There will be a temporary increase in meat demand for holiday barbecues, but then a seasonal...

Notable Changes in U.S. Agricultural Trade

In the year of COVID, it is difficult to assign precise reasons for changes in trade flows but following are some observations about U.S. agricultural trade in the year to date:  U.S. exports to India have taken the largest fall, but Bangladesh next door has seen the largest increase.&nb...

Aid and Trade in the COVID Election Season

Initial unemployment claims topped 1 million for the second week in a row after previously declining below that psychological line. Total initial claims were 1,006,000, which was still almost 9 percent lower than the week before but not as good as had been hoped for a couple of weeks ago. This...

Inflation/Dollar Outlooks

The flood of easy money from the U.S. Federal Reserve intended to prop up the economy in the face of COVID-19 should be inflationary. The Fed has tipped its hand by expressing a desire for inflation above its previous 2 percent cap. Food and energy are typically treated separately than core inf...

feed-grains soy-oilseeds wheat

Ag Review - August 2020

WPI's monthly publication features a review of the past month's market and policy developments. This issue covers such topics as the commodity markets and what to watch, the status of COVID legislation and agriculture spending, the future of global trade, an analysis of markets in China and the...

feed-grains soy-oilseeds wheat

Finally, A Market to Watch

It seems as though grain and soy markets have been struggling under the weight of very large supplies and stagnant demand forever. No doubt this is an exaggeration, but as a broad generalization, markets have been mainly supply driven during the last few years. Markets have also been battered b...

Flawed Metrics

Yet another flawed study criticizes large scale farms and wrongly equates them with greater environmental damage. Kimberly Nicholas of the Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS) says that most EU agricultural subsidies go to intensively farmed areas that cause the most envir...

biofuel feed-grains

Ethanol Durability

Data from the first half of 2020 shows the pandemic’s impact on trade with U.S. agricultural exports down 3 percent compared with the same period in 2019. Meanwhile, there was a 4 percent drop in ethanol exports, which is a surprisingly small amount. While food demand changed, it mostly i...

Commodities as Investments – Again

We note with interest that several financial advisory services have begun to tout commodities as something an investor might consider adding to his portfolio. This is in line with comments from the likes of Goldman Sachs that commodities are underpriced and due for a rally in this environment o...

Drop in Food Borne Illnesses

At least anecdotally, some food industry lawyers report a drop-off in food borne illness litigation cases this year. Official data is reported by the Centers for Disease Control annually, but litigants are a proxy for industry developments. Part of the reason could be the switch in consumption...

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