World Perspectives

Recent Macroeconomics Analysis

WFH Productivity; USMCA Rift

WFH Productivity There have been plenty of studies about the impacts on productivity of work from home (WFH) during COVID. They usually show mixed results depending on the work, the company and the employee’s personal situation. An informal look at the federal government during WFH has a...

Inflation Whiff; Indian Scraps; Capitol Coup

Inflation Whiff Kiev is not just battling a Russian-led insurrection in the Donbas but is also trying to fight food inflation, which hit 11.3 percent in 2021 and 13.3 percent in December alone. Its solution is price controls, limiting the margin earned on trading major food products to 10 perce...

Workers of World United

The analytics company CultureX says that people are more likely to quit their jobs due to a toxic workplace culture than due to their salary. That may be true but a Bain & Company survey of 20,000 workers in ten countries found that compensation was the number one issue for employees. This...

What’s in a Name; Going Industrial; New Analytical Approach

What’s in a Name Proponents of geographic indicators in Europe are upset that DG-Agri may be planning to hand over more regulatory oversight of the GI scheme to the EU’s Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). GIs already carry intellectual property protection, but some fear the EUIPO...

livestock

Fake Pork Trade; Humoring Russia

Fake Pork Trade USTR Katherine Tai announced that bilateral negotiations had resulted in India opening its market to imports of U.S. pork. This past year, Americans bought on average $21 apiece worth of food from India. By contrast, U.S. agricultural exports to India totaled the equivalent of $...

Beef with Oil; Carbon Trouble

Beef with Oil The Biden Administration dislikes the oil industry as much or more than Big Beef. After stating the goals of ending drilling on public lands, blocking some new pipelines and then watching fuel prices skyrocket, White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain talked about banning oil and gas...

Fat Cats

Investors are most interested in maximizing their return on capital. It is notable that across 97 different industries, the agrifood sector is a mixed bag. Tobacco is tops across all industries, not just food and agriculture. Other highly protected industries at the top include shoes and steel...

A Different Kind of Inflation in 2021

The U.S. has not used the gold standard since 1933, when the Emergency Banking Act forced Americans to give up gold and convert their holdings to dollars. Since then, there have been “gold bugs” advocating for a return to the gold standard. Their argument? A gold standard prevents g...

Real Food Sovereignty; Obesity Solutions

Real Food Sovereignty Activists and their populist politicians in rich, developed countries have an answer for reforming agriculture – small farms using extensive practices such as fewer chemical inputs. Thus it is interesting to see the contrasting policy from Algeria which desperately w...

Mistakes on All Sides

Russian President Vladimir Putin complains that NATO is a threat to Russia and seeks a buffer to establish states but the nations he wants to isolate from the west are all more frightened of Russian authority. Russia is literally driving the buffer states to want to join NATO. Similarly, the mo...

The State and Monopolies

The Biden Administration announced a $1 billion program to incentivize “independent processing capacity” in the meat industry. Noting the irony of U.S. policy concurrently criticizing state-driven enterprise in China, the major meat packers responded with some pointed questions: &bu...

GE Labeling; Skewed Meat View; Accurate Milk View

GE Labeling  Starting in 2022, the U.S. will have mandatory labeling of foods with detectable amounts of genetically modified content. WPI emphasizes what USDA itself said about the mandate when issuing the proposal back in 2018: "The proposed NBFDS [National Bioengineered Food Disclosure...

Russian Roulette

Market volatility has risen with Covid and its latest iteration Omicron but has thus far underplayed the current security risks playing out in Eastern Europe. Energy and grain markets will experience just as much if not more turmoil if things go badly in Ukraine. Presidents Putin and Biden are...

Holiday Schedule

Financial markets will be closed tomorrow, December 24, for Christmas Eve. As a result, there will be no Ag Perspectives report tomorrow. WPI wishes everyone a joyous and safe holiday. WPI will resume operations on Monday, 27 December. Ag Perspectives will be providing market commentary each da...

Greed versus Apathy

President Biden and his economic team attacked the U.S. meat industry this year for being greedy. Meanwhile, he has politely asked the oil industry to please produce more product so that gasoline prices fall. Note that Tyson’s stock price versus a year ago is down 4.7 percent while Exxon...

Diabolical Plan; Trade in Cancer; Energy Reality

Diabolical Plan USTR issued a blistering report regarding Russia’s increasingly protectionist trade policy. It accused Moscow of employing localization measures to favor domestic products, using measures that are not science-based to block agricultural imports, and violating national trea...

soy-oilseeds

Which Way Chile; Green Excuse

Which Way Chile Analysts are pondering the future of Chile now that it has elected socialist Gabriel Boric as its next president. Boric campaigned to end neoliberal economic policies. Chile suffers from inequality but not as severe as the rest of Latin America. In fact, Chile leads the region i...

livestock

Meat Inflation: Income Elasticity Worked as Expected in 2021

Inflation is a hot topic lately; it is the reason why the Fed has signaled it will raise interest rates three times next year. Moreover, it is why Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), a key swing vote in the Senate, has come out against the Administration’s Build Back Better legislation...

Russian Ultimatum; Cynical Tax Break

Russian Ultimatum Russian President Vladmimir Putin just provoked the transatlantic strategy on managing his country’s possible aggression in Eastern Europe. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov delivered the message that NATO is to stay out of the former Soviet bloc countries and that...

Tripping Up Shipping; Minimal? 2022 Drivers

Tripping Up Shipping The shelves are not bare before Christmas, but somethings remain in short supply. Political success means saving the day and some dream of an intervention in the global shipping industry. This is especially true for U.S. agricultural exporters who complain that containers a...

Inflation Truth; Excess Demand; Source of News

Inflation Truth The U.S. Federal Reserve sent a strong signal today that inflation is endemic in the economy and that strong action is needed to bring it under control. It will speed up the reduction in its bond buying and projects three interest rate increases next year. This contrasts with Pr...

Food Better Than Healthcare; Big Ag is Safe; Siloed Big Tech

Food Better Than Healthcare While the healthcare sector has been called a miracle for the way it has handled the pandemic, the food industry has been criticized and USDA has announced billions in grants to make it more “resilient.” Yet food remained completely available whereas hosp...

Producer Prices Hit Record High as Fed Begins December Meeting

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the Producer Price Index (PPI) today, the primary measure of inflation for manufacturers and producers. The PPI is different from the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in that it measures costs from the viewpoint of industries that make the products, where...

Next Trade War; Blaming Meat Industry; Taiwan Trouble

Next Trade War The EU Commission is moving forward on its goal of ensuring that constraints imposed on European producers will also be applied to imports. Those constraints may go beyond environment as one French official declared, “we have, in South America, countries that deforest, that...

GMO Debate Over; More China Calculations

GMO Debate Over Mark Twain may have said that a lie travels around the globe while the truth is putting on its shoes and the adage is truer today than ever before. There is also a maxim that the answer to misinformation is more information. Nobel Peace Prize winning journalist faults online soc...

Congressional Reform; Inflation Rate

Congressional Reform The U.S. Congress is held in general low regard by the American public. Seen as petty, partisan and dysfunctional, the institution does not help itself with its operational secrecy and special privileges. Members of Congress were the first to criticize Federal Reserve Bank...

Wishful Thinking; Better Buyers than Sellers; Siloed Market

Wishful Thinking The EU is developing a new trade policy intended to rapidly respond to “coercive measures” by third countries, such as Donald Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs, or China’s recent squeeze on tiny Lithuania. The idea is that if foreign countries knew that...

Corruption Focus; Next Transportation Fuel

Corruption Focus The Biden Administration will emphasize its Strategy on Countering Corruption at this week’s Summit for Democracy. Shell companies will be required to report their true owners and the goal is to strengthen democracies by weakening corruption. Not all think this is a good...

Greens on Defense; Apparel Peril; NAFTA Changes Parties

Greens on Defense For decades the policy bible for Greens in Europe has included scriptures against GMO’s and nuclear energy. But GMO’s can aid sustainability and nuclear power is inherently carbon neutral. EU Commission leaders have spoken opportunistically about new genomic techni...

Energy and Food Lessons; Implications of Ukraine; Omicron Buys WTO Time

Energy and Food Lessons Energy and food prices are spiking at the same time policy reform advocates are seeking wholesale changes in the production of both resources. Already policymakers in Europe are having to consider using more natural gas and nuclear energy than originally envisioned in th...

China Strategy; Biotech Breakout

China Strategy The U.S., EU and Japan have agreed to collaborate on how to deal with non-market economic practices – read China. The debate over how to address China is the most important topic in Washington these days. Opinions are varied. Former U.S. State Department official Daniel Rus...

Anti-vaxxers Come to Ag; Identity Politics Come to Trade

Anti-vaxxers Come to Ag The Green Revolution created modern agriculture, which has been called a mechanism for turning fossil fuels (inputs) into food. In a matter of just a couple of decades, fertilizer, pesticides, and genetics enabled staple crop yields to triple. Now Europe is trying to str...

COVID Variant Inflation

The Senate Banking Committee held a hearing today entitled, “CARES Act Oversight of Treasury and the Federal Reserve: Building a Resilient Economy.” Testifying were Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary, and former Fed Chair, Janet Yellen. As the title suggests, the hear...

India’s Dangerous Reversal; Dems vs. Coms

India’s Dangerous Reversal Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent reversal on farm policy reforms will reverberate for years to come. Essentially, the nation will revert to a system that used a market support price (MSP) to boost farmer income but at levels above what would al...

Cancellation of Convenience; Fox in the Henhouse

Cancellation of Convenience The WTO’s 12th ministerial conference scheduled to begin next week has reportedly been postponed due to news of a new COVID variant being circulated. The new variant provides a delay for a meeting that, at this juncture, did not have a lot of hope for agreement...

Slippery Liability Slope; Papered Over; IP Confusion; Trilateral Double Talk

Slippery Liability Slope A federal jury in Ohio opined that since the pharmacies at major corporations filled prescriptions for opioids, they are therefore guilty of being complicit in the addiction epidemic to the drugs. Unlike the manufacturers of opioids, food processors have not yet been fo...

WFH Productivity; USMCA Rift

WFH Productivity There have been plenty of studies about the impacts on productivity of work from home (WFH) during COVID. They usually show mixed results depending on the work, the company and the employee’s personal situation. An informal look at the federal government during WFH has a...

Inflation Whiff; Indian Scraps; Capitol Coup

Inflation Whiff Kiev is not just battling a Russian-led insurrection in the Donbas but is also trying to fight food inflation, which hit 11.3 percent in 2021 and 13.3 percent in December alone. Its solution is price controls, limiting the margin earned on trading major food products to 10 perce...

Workers of World United

The analytics company CultureX says that people are more likely to quit their jobs due to a toxic workplace culture than due to their salary. That may be true but a Bain & Company survey of 20,000 workers in ten countries found that compensation was the number one issue for employees. This...

What’s in a Name; Going Industrial; New Analytical Approach

What’s in a Name Proponents of geographic indicators in Europe are upset that DG-Agri may be planning to hand over more regulatory oversight of the GI scheme to the EU’s Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). GIs already carry intellectual property protection, but some fear the EUIPO...

livestock

Fake Pork Trade; Humoring Russia

Fake Pork Trade USTR Katherine Tai announced that bilateral negotiations had resulted in India opening its market to imports of U.S. pork. This past year, Americans bought on average $21 apiece worth of food from India. By contrast, U.S. agricultural exports to India totaled the equivalent of $...

Beef with Oil; Carbon Trouble

Beef with Oil The Biden Administration dislikes the oil industry as much or more than Big Beef. After stating the goals of ending drilling on public lands, blocking some new pipelines and then watching fuel prices skyrocket, White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain talked about banning oil and gas...

Fat Cats

Investors are most interested in maximizing their return on capital. It is notable that across 97 different industries, the agrifood sector is a mixed bag. Tobacco is tops across all industries, not just food and agriculture. Other highly protected industries at the top include shoes and steel...

A Different Kind of Inflation in 2021

The U.S. has not used the gold standard since 1933, when the Emergency Banking Act forced Americans to give up gold and convert their holdings to dollars. Since then, there have been “gold bugs” advocating for a return to the gold standard. Their argument? A gold standard prevents g...

Real Food Sovereignty; Obesity Solutions

Real Food Sovereignty Activists and their populist politicians in rich, developed countries have an answer for reforming agriculture – small farms using extensive practices such as fewer chemical inputs. Thus it is interesting to see the contrasting policy from Algeria which desperately w...

Mistakes on All Sides

Russian President Vladimir Putin complains that NATO is a threat to Russia and seeks a buffer to establish states but the nations he wants to isolate from the west are all more frightened of Russian authority. Russia is literally driving the buffer states to want to join NATO. Similarly, the mo...

The State and Monopolies

The Biden Administration announced a $1 billion program to incentivize “independent processing capacity” in the meat industry. Noting the irony of U.S. policy concurrently criticizing state-driven enterprise in China, the major meat packers responded with some pointed questions: &bu...

GE Labeling; Skewed Meat View; Accurate Milk View

GE Labeling  Starting in 2022, the U.S. will have mandatory labeling of foods with detectable amounts of genetically modified content. WPI emphasizes what USDA itself said about the mandate when issuing the proposal back in 2018: "The proposed NBFDS [National Bioengineered Food Disclosure...

Russian Roulette

Market volatility has risen with Covid and its latest iteration Omicron but has thus far underplayed the current security risks playing out in Eastern Europe. Energy and grain markets will experience just as much if not more turmoil if things go badly in Ukraine. Presidents Putin and Biden are...

Holiday Schedule

Financial markets will be closed tomorrow, December 24, for Christmas Eve. As a result, there will be no Ag Perspectives report tomorrow. WPI wishes everyone a joyous and safe holiday. WPI will resume operations on Monday, 27 December. Ag Perspectives will be providing market commentary each da...

Greed versus Apathy

President Biden and his economic team attacked the U.S. meat industry this year for being greedy. Meanwhile, he has politely asked the oil industry to please produce more product so that gasoline prices fall. Note that Tyson’s stock price versus a year ago is down 4.7 percent while Exxon...

Diabolical Plan; Trade in Cancer; Energy Reality

Diabolical Plan USTR issued a blistering report regarding Russia’s increasingly protectionist trade policy. It accused Moscow of employing localization measures to favor domestic products, using measures that are not science-based to block agricultural imports, and violating national trea...

soy-oilseeds

Which Way Chile; Green Excuse

Which Way Chile Analysts are pondering the future of Chile now that it has elected socialist Gabriel Boric as its next president. Boric campaigned to end neoliberal economic policies. Chile suffers from inequality but not as severe as the rest of Latin America. In fact, Chile leads the region i...

livestock

Meat Inflation: Income Elasticity Worked as Expected in 2021

Inflation is a hot topic lately; it is the reason why the Fed has signaled it will raise interest rates three times next year. Moreover, it is why Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), a key swing vote in the Senate, has come out against the Administration’s Build Back Better legislation...

Russian Ultimatum; Cynical Tax Break

Russian Ultimatum Russian President Vladmimir Putin just provoked the transatlantic strategy on managing his country’s possible aggression in Eastern Europe. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov delivered the message that NATO is to stay out of the former Soviet bloc countries and that...

Tripping Up Shipping; Minimal? 2022 Drivers

Tripping Up Shipping The shelves are not bare before Christmas, but somethings remain in short supply. Political success means saving the day and some dream of an intervention in the global shipping industry. This is especially true for U.S. agricultural exporters who complain that containers a...

Inflation Truth; Excess Demand; Source of News

Inflation Truth The U.S. Federal Reserve sent a strong signal today that inflation is endemic in the economy and that strong action is needed to bring it under control. It will speed up the reduction in its bond buying and projects three interest rate increases next year. This contrasts with Pr...

Food Better Than Healthcare; Big Ag is Safe; Siloed Big Tech

Food Better Than Healthcare While the healthcare sector has been called a miracle for the way it has handled the pandemic, the food industry has been criticized and USDA has announced billions in grants to make it more “resilient.” Yet food remained completely available whereas hosp...

Producer Prices Hit Record High as Fed Begins December Meeting

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the Producer Price Index (PPI) today, the primary measure of inflation for manufacturers and producers. The PPI is different from the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in that it measures costs from the viewpoint of industries that make the products, where...

Next Trade War; Blaming Meat Industry; Taiwan Trouble

Next Trade War The EU Commission is moving forward on its goal of ensuring that constraints imposed on European producers will also be applied to imports. Those constraints may go beyond environment as one French official declared, “we have, in South America, countries that deforest, that...

GMO Debate Over; More China Calculations

GMO Debate Over Mark Twain may have said that a lie travels around the globe while the truth is putting on its shoes and the adage is truer today than ever before. There is also a maxim that the answer to misinformation is more information. Nobel Peace Prize winning journalist faults online soc...

Congressional Reform; Inflation Rate

Congressional Reform The U.S. Congress is held in general low regard by the American public. Seen as petty, partisan and dysfunctional, the institution does not help itself with its operational secrecy and special privileges. Members of Congress were the first to criticize Federal Reserve Bank...

Wishful Thinking; Better Buyers than Sellers; Siloed Market

Wishful Thinking The EU is developing a new trade policy intended to rapidly respond to “coercive measures” by third countries, such as Donald Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs, or China’s recent squeeze on tiny Lithuania. The idea is that if foreign countries knew that...

Corruption Focus; Next Transportation Fuel

Corruption Focus The Biden Administration will emphasize its Strategy on Countering Corruption at this week’s Summit for Democracy. Shell companies will be required to report their true owners and the goal is to strengthen democracies by weakening corruption. Not all think this is a good...

Greens on Defense; Apparel Peril; NAFTA Changes Parties

Greens on Defense For decades the policy bible for Greens in Europe has included scriptures against GMO’s and nuclear energy. But GMO’s can aid sustainability and nuclear power is inherently carbon neutral. EU Commission leaders have spoken opportunistically about new genomic techni...

Energy and Food Lessons; Implications of Ukraine; Omicron Buys WTO Time

Energy and Food Lessons Energy and food prices are spiking at the same time policy reform advocates are seeking wholesale changes in the production of both resources. Already policymakers in Europe are having to consider using more natural gas and nuclear energy than originally envisioned in th...

China Strategy; Biotech Breakout

China Strategy The U.S., EU and Japan have agreed to collaborate on how to deal with non-market economic practices – read China. The debate over how to address China is the most important topic in Washington these days. Opinions are varied. Former U.S. State Department official Daniel Rus...

Anti-vaxxers Come to Ag; Identity Politics Come to Trade

Anti-vaxxers Come to Ag The Green Revolution created modern agriculture, which has been called a mechanism for turning fossil fuels (inputs) into food. In a matter of just a couple of decades, fertilizer, pesticides, and genetics enabled staple crop yields to triple. Now Europe is trying to str...

COVID Variant Inflation

The Senate Banking Committee held a hearing today entitled, “CARES Act Oversight of Treasury and the Federal Reserve: Building a Resilient Economy.” Testifying were Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary, and former Fed Chair, Janet Yellen. As the title suggests, the hear...

India’s Dangerous Reversal; Dems vs. Coms

India’s Dangerous Reversal Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent reversal on farm policy reforms will reverberate for years to come. Essentially, the nation will revert to a system that used a market support price (MSP) to boost farmer income but at levels above what would al...

Cancellation of Convenience; Fox in the Henhouse

Cancellation of Convenience The WTO’s 12th ministerial conference scheduled to begin next week has reportedly been postponed due to news of a new COVID variant being circulated. The new variant provides a delay for a meeting that, at this juncture, did not have a lot of hope for agreement...

Slippery Liability Slope; Papered Over; IP Confusion; Trilateral Double Talk

Slippery Liability Slope A federal jury in Ohio opined that since the pharmacies at major corporations filled prescriptions for opioids, they are therefore guilty of being complicit in the addiction epidemic to the drugs. Unlike the manufacturers of opioids, food processors have not yet been fo...

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