World Perspectives

Recent Macroeconomics Analysis

Scale’s Advantage

President Trump is accused of not knowing the facts and not even caring that he doesn’t know them. The same could be said of his political opponents. China’s agriculture ministry announced that it would be reducing the number of small-scale slaughterhouses in order to improve preven...

Election Year Commodity Prices

According to Jeffrey Hirsch at the Stock Trader’s Almanac, there is a Presidential Election Cycle Theory that says stocks will move in certain ways affected by the four-year term of a presidency. If the theory applied to commodities, the third year of a presidency is when markets are most...

feed-grains soy-oilseeds

Pausing to Reflect

It is not that grain and soy futures markets are on vacation exactly, but in recent days it almost feels that way. One could easily read a book while watching the markets today. The corn market is the only one moving much with the December contract managing a 6-cent range, and it is up 4 cents...

livestock biofuel feed-grains

Ag Review - October 2019

WPI's monthly publication features a review of the past month's market and policy developments. This issue covers changes in China’s meat consumption, a review of the Department of Commerce’s international trade report and what it might tell us about the U.S. economy, an overview of...

Peronists and Ag Exports

Argentina’s productive agriculture sector rooted for Mauricio Macri in this past weekend’s presidential election. They vividly recall the Kirchner regime’s heavy use of export taxes on agriculture to fund the government. While the Kircher’s were Peronists, a populist par...

Uncomfortable Farm Economy Truths

The Farm Foundation held a conference on the farm economy this week and following are key points made by the presenters. American Farm Bureau Federation Chief Economist Dr. John Newton: • Farm Income: Excluding government payments (which will represent a third of farm income), net farm inc...

What the Trade Deficit Says about the U.S. Economy

USDA released its weekly sales report last week with some mixed news, but another trade report has some interesting insights into the overall economy: the August international trade report from the Department of Commerce.  The U.S. trade deficit in all goods and services was $54.9 billion...

Mini-Deal Rationale; Incongruous Negotiations

Mini-Deal Rationale The details are not complete at this time, but reports indicate that the Trump Administration has reached a partial agreement with the Chinese on a slew of different issues. In exchange for the U.S. not moving forward with additional trade tariffs, China has reportedly agree...

S&DT Hypocrisy

The WTO operates as a democracy and it is said that democracies fail when the citizens ask for more than it can deliver. The Trump Administration goes to war with a majority of the WTO members at the next General Council meeting on 15 October. It will press its case that countries cannot concur...

No "Great" Fixes; Grain OPEC

No “Great” Fixes The Trump Administration is seeking large changes at the WTO and in China but neither are likely to materialize. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will arrive in Washington this week for trade negotiations, but a Bloomberg story says that he has no concessions to offer on...

Waiting for Boeing; Breaking Amber Caps; Impeachment Helps USMCA; Spending Bills Moving

Waiting for Boeing   Despite early warnings that a counter-retaliation was in the works, the EU has decided not to strike back against the U.S. over the Airbus case and the new U.S. tariffs on the aero industry and agricultural imports from Europe.  Instead, the EU is confident i...

Misreading Airbus Tariffs; Perdue Fails Egg Farmers

Misreading Airbus Tariffs President Trump is about to impose tariffs on European goods using WTO-sanctioned authority in the Airbus case. Europeans are understandably upset but some of the reactions are a misreading of the facts. Including these: • As usual, there is the argument that it h...

Who’d Want the Ag Portfolio?

Janusz Wojciechowski is an agricultural policy veteran but he may now wonder why he sought to become the EU’s Agriculture Commissioner-designate. In his confirmation hearing before the European Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture he faced the whole panoply of conflicting political...

livestock

China In-Country Analysis

Policy President Xi’s Fleeting Rural Dreams With China’s National Day Holiday celebrations in full swing this week, questions have risen as to whether President Xi’s economic strategy is helping or hurting the country.  Without question, the trade war with the U.S. came a...

Rocky Times Ahead

The present Congress has not accomplished very much in the nine months it has been seated in no small part because its members have been spending so much time attacking or defending President Donald Trump. The latest issue is a July phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian president Vol...

F&V Future

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, only one in 10 American adults meets the dietary guidelines for fruit and vegetable consumption. Meanwhile, U.S. production of these crops is flat to declining. The gap between supply and consumption is being filled by imports (see graph below)...

feed-grains soy-oilseeds

The Wait and See Game

After their brief reaction to last week’s September WASDE, grain and soy futures markets seem to once again be mired in their old trading ranges. There is little enthusiasm for pushing futures prices in either direction. Chicago wheat futures did push above their 50-day moving average yes...

Grocery Stores are Winning

The consumer is often said to be the backbone of the U.S. economy, and that looks to be a positive factor for the food and agricultural sectors. The U.S. Census Bureau recently released its monthly advanced estimates of retail and food service sales, which are broadly encouraging from a macroec...

Dems on Trade Policy; Top Dems and Trade Agreement Optimism

Dems on Trade Policy Donald Trump has upended trade policy like no other U.S. president. His approach is contrary to Republican orthodoxy and rhetorically closer to Democratic dogma. In the 2016 campaign he ran to the left of Hillary Clinton on trade policy but then confounded political convent...

feed-grains soy-oilseeds wheat

Market Commentary

Good weekend weather, lower FOB values for wheat world-wide, and fund selling pressured the CBOT today. Corn and wheat futures posted new contract lows with spot KC wheat futures reaching multi-year lows and closing below the psychologically important $4/bushel mark. The weather forecasts remai...

soy-oilseeds livestock

US-PRC – What to Believe?; China/EU Burn Down the Amazon; Big Food’s Mojo

US-PRC - What to Believe? The negotiations are going great again. All is well. Be calm markets. Are the two sides, China and the U.S. on track together? Is Trump nervous about the economy and willing to settle for less than before? Is Xi nervous about the Chinese economy, or just giving Trump a...

feed-grains soy-oilseeds wheat

Market Commentary

Following on Wednesday’s market, futures were mixed over night with beans and corn up but wheat continuing its downward trend. A mixed close was expected today and it delivered more of the same - corn and soybeans up but wheat lower.  Since there is nothing new on the fundamental sid...

U.S.-Chinese Trade Dilemma

We are about to enter the 15th month of the tariff war between the U.S. and China, and to put it bluntly, a resolution seems further off today than it did when the tariff hostilities began.  We daresay that few people in the Trump administration or among high level Chinese officials believ...

Short-Term Advantage: China

President Trump says that the Chinese asked to resume negotiations, but nothing is publicly scheduled, and the Chinese foreign ministry says it knows nothing about it. If this is a fib by the President, Beijing will interpret it as reflecting vulnerability. That vulnerability is emphasized by c...

Scale’s Advantage

President Trump is accused of not knowing the facts and not even caring that he doesn’t know them. The same could be said of his political opponents. China’s agriculture ministry announced that it would be reducing the number of small-scale slaughterhouses in order to improve preven...

Election Year Commodity Prices

According to Jeffrey Hirsch at the Stock Trader’s Almanac, there is a Presidential Election Cycle Theory that says stocks will move in certain ways affected by the four-year term of a presidency. If the theory applied to commodities, the third year of a presidency is when markets are most...

feed-grains soy-oilseeds

Pausing to Reflect

It is not that grain and soy futures markets are on vacation exactly, but in recent days it almost feels that way. One could easily read a book while watching the markets today. The corn market is the only one moving much with the December contract managing a 6-cent range, and it is up 4 cents...

livestock biofuel feed-grains

Ag Review - October 2019

WPI's monthly publication features a review of the past month's market and policy developments. This issue covers changes in China’s meat consumption, a review of the Department of Commerce’s international trade report and what it might tell us about the U.S. economy, an overview of...

Peronists and Ag Exports

Argentina’s productive agriculture sector rooted for Mauricio Macri in this past weekend’s presidential election. They vividly recall the Kirchner regime’s heavy use of export taxes on agriculture to fund the government. While the Kircher’s were Peronists, a populist par...

Uncomfortable Farm Economy Truths

The Farm Foundation held a conference on the farm economy this week and following are key points made by the presenters. American Farm Bureau Federation Chief Economist Dr. John Newton: • Farm Income: Excluding government payments (which will represent a third of farm income), net farm inc...

What the Trade Deficit Says about the U.S. Economy

USDA released its weekly sales report last week with some mixed news, but another trade report has some interesting insights into the overall economy: the August international trade report from the Department of Commerce.  The U.S. trade deficit in all goods and services was $54.9 billion...

Mini-Deal Rationale; Incongruous Negotiations

Mini-Deal Rationale The details are not complete at this time, but reports indicate that the Trump Administration has reached a partial agreement with the Chinese on a slew of different issues. In exchange for the U.S. not moving forward with additional trade tariffs, China has reportedly agree...

S&DT Hypocrisy

The WTO operates as a democracy and it is said that democracies fail when the citizens ask for more than it can deliver. The Trump Administration goes to war with a majority of the WTO members at the next General Council meeting on 15 October. It will press its case that countries cannot concur...

No "Great" Fixes; Grain OPEC

No “Great” Fixes The Trump Administration is seeking large changes at the WTO and in China but neither are likely to materialize. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will arrive in Washington this week for trade negotiations, but a Bloomberg story says that he has no concessions to offer on...

Waiting for Boeing; Breaking Amber Caps; Impeachment Helps USMCA; Spending Bills Moving

Waiting for Boeing   Despite early warnings that a counter-retaliation was in the works, the EU has decided not to strike back against the U.S. over the Airbus case and the new U.S. tariffs on the aero industry and agricultural imports from Europe.  Instead, the EU is confident i...

Misreading Airbus Tariffs; Perdue Fails Egg Farmers

Misreading Airbus Tariffs President Trump is about to impose tariffs on European goods using WTO-sanctioned authority in the Airbus case. Europeans are understandably upset but some of the reactions are a misreading of the facts. Including these: • As usual, there is the argument that it h...

Who’d Want the Ag Portfolio?

Janusz Wojciechowski is an agricultural policy veteran but he may now wonder why he sought to become the EU’s Agriculture Commissioner-designate. In his confirmation hearing before the European Parliament’s Committee on Agriculture he faced the whole panoply of conflicting political...

livestock

China In-Country Analysis

Policy President Xi’s Fleeting Rural Dreams With China’s National Day Holiday celebrations in full swing this week, questions have risen as to whether President Xi’s economic strategy is helping or hurting the country.  Without question, the trade war with the U.S. came a...

Rocky Times Ahead

The present Congress has not accomplished very much in the nine months it has been seated in no small part because its members have been spending so much time attacking or defending President Donald Trump. The latest issue is a July phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian president Vol...

F&V Future

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, only one in 10 American adults meets the dietary guidelines for fruit and vegetable consumption. Meanwhile, U.S. production of these crops is flat to declining. The gap between supply and consumption is being filled by imports (see graph below)...

feed-grains soy-oilseeds

The Wait and See Game

After their brief reaction to last week’s September WASDE, grain and soy futures markets seem to once again be mired in their old trading ranges. There is little enthusiasm for pushing futures prices in either direction. Chicago wheat futures did push above their 50-day moving average yes...

Grocery Stores are Winning

The consumer is often said to be the backbone of the U.S. economy, and that looks to be a positive factor for the food and agricultural sectors. The U.S. Census Bureau recently released its monthly advanced estimates of retail and food service sales, which are broadly encouraging from a macroec...

Dems on Trade Policy; Top Dems and Trade Agreement Optimism

Dems on Trade Policy Donald Trump has upended trade policy like no other U.S. president. His approach is contrary to Republican orthodoxy and rhetorically closer to Democratic dogma. In the 2016 campaign he ran to the left of Hillary Clinton on trade policy but then confounded political convent...

feed-grains soy-oilseeds wheat

Market Commentary

Good weekend weather, lower FOB values for wheat world-wide, and fund selling pressured the CBOT today. Corn and wheat futures posted new contract lows with spot KC wheat futures reaching multi-year lows and closing below the psychologically important $4/bushel mark. The weather forecasts remai...

soy-oilseeds livestock

US-PRC – What to Believe?; China/EU Burn Down the Amazon; Big Food’s Mojo

US-PRC - What to Believe? The negotiations are going great again. All is well. Be calm markets. Are the two sides, China and the U.S. on track together? Is Trump nervous about the economy and willing to settle for less than before? Is Xi nervous about the Chinese economy, or just giving Trump a...

feed-grains soy-oilseeds wheat

Market Commentary

Following on Wednesday’s market, futures were mixed over night with beans and corn up but wheat continuing its downward trend. A mixed close was expected today and it delivered more of the same - corn and soybeans up but wheat lower.  Since there is nothing new on the fundamental sid...

U.S.-Chinese Trade Dilemma

We are about to enter the 15th month of the tariff war between the U.S. and China, and to put it bluntly, a resolution seems further off today than it did when the tariff hostilities began.  We daresay that few people in the Trump administration or among high level Chinese officials believ...

Short-Term Advantage: China

President Trump says that the Chinese asked to resume negotiations, but nothing is publicly scheduled, and the Chinese foreign ministry says it knows nothing about it. If this is a fib by the President, Beijing will interpret it as reflecting vulnerability. That vulnerability is emphasized by c...

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