July 2, 2015

China, India, the Food Transition, and Future Demand Growth

China and India's food transition since 1980 is examined. Observations and implications for future growth in global food demand are drawn. Data on food consumption and population come from the United Nations, Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) FAOSTAT database. Data on country and per person (per capita) gross domestic product (GDP) come from the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) April 2015 World Economic Outlook database. GDP is measured in international dollars adjusted for the purchasing power parity of the country's currency. Most economists consider this measure to be the most appropriate when comparing economic variables across countries. The data spans 1980 through 2013 - 1980 is the first year FAOSTAT reports data on GDP; 2013 is the last year food consumption data are available for China and India although 2011 is the last year for many countries.

July 1, 2015

Mid-Year Update on Biodiesel Production Profits

In previous farmdoc daily articles on biodiesel production profits, a feast or famine pattern of profitability was highlighted. For example, the biodiesel industry experienced the feast side of the ledger in 2013 with record large profits, while losses placed the industry in 2014 on the famine side of the books. The feast or famine pattern is closely tied to policy incentives through the biodiesel tax credit and RFS mandates. The tax credit was reinstated late in 2014 for the 2014 calendar year. Reinstatement is uncertain for 2015. The EPA's recent proposal for RFS standards included rising biodiesel mandates over 2014-2017 and appeared to signal a willingness to continue increasing the biodiesel mandate through the remaining life of the RFS in 2022. The purpose of this article is to update estimates of biodiesel production profits through June 2015 and analyze whether the EPA proposal released at the end of May has had a measurable impact on profitability.

June 30, 2015

Weekly Outlook: USDA Grain Stocks and Acreage Estimates Supportive for Corn and Soybean Prices

The just-released USDA Grain Stocks and Acreage reports provide some important fundamental information for the corn and soybean markets going into the most critical part of the growing season.

June 29, 2015

Soybean Prevented Planted Acres: Historical Background and Implications for 2015

Recent attention has focused on delayed soybean plantings caused by wet weather, leading to the potential for large prevented planted acres. Much of this attention focuses on Missouri, Kansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, and North Carolina. Historical prevented planted acres are presented to provide perspective on possible prevented planted acres in 2015, providing further information on prevented planting contained in a previous farmdoc daily article (June 12, 2015).

June 25, 2015

Will Cooler Heads Prevail?

On May 29, the World Trade Organization (WTO) announced its latest decision against the U.S. in a long-running dispute with Canada and Mexico over country of origin labeling (COOL). The WTO is the international group responsible for the rules of trade between nations, and its decision opened the door to retaliatory tariffs and other actions against the U.S. This announcement received wide coverage in the press, but left out many of the details necessary to fully understand the impact of this decision. Today's article reviews the history of COOL for cattle and hogs, and looks at potential impact of the WTO decision on these and other markets.