Signs of global crop failures or just normal fluctuations

Aeneas

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This video just out reports on the harvest in Krasnodar Krai in Russia. It reports a record harvest and as the video says, it is the 6th year in a row with record harvest. Krasnodar Krai is located in the North Caucasus region in Southern Russia and covers an area of 76000km3, which is close to twice the size of Denmark.

Russia has as previously mentioned focused intensely on their agricultural sector and it appears to bear fruit (no pun intended).

They harvested 14.5 Million tons of grain which is quite substantial, the harvest of grapes was the highest in the last three years. In addition they harvested 300,000 tons of fruit and 800,000 tons of vegetables.

It is an important region in Russia for agriculture as the Russian wiki entry shows:
Agriculture
In the economy of Russia, the region stands out as the most important agricultural region of the country (7 % of the gross output of agriculture of Russia, 1-St place in Russia). Krasnodar region — leader in terms of gross harvest of grain (10% of Russia's total) and sugar beet (17,3 %), one of the leading manufacturers of seeds of sunflower (15 %) and grape wines (37 %)[28].
Krasnodar Krai is also where Sochi is located and where there now is a land bridge to Crimea.
 

Aeneas

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The swine fewer in China could well have been part of the multi-thronged US attack on China, but that is for another thread.

The whole trade deal or lack thereof seems to have had unintended consequences. Namely a massive build up of pork in the US, which they were prepared to unload on China when China capitulated to a trade deal.
Pork Pile-Up Continues: Bacon Levels In US Cold Storage Surge To 48-Year High
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by Tyler Durden
Mon, 11/04/2019 - 23:10
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Cold storage facilities across the U.S. have just hit record-high levels of pork bellies, the cut of the pig used to make bacon, reported Bloomberg. Much of the oversupply problem stems from farmers' increasing herd sizes ahead of a possible trade deal that was expected to occur earlier this year.

Farmers in 1H20 across Central and Midwest regions were desperately trying to increase herd sizes and or fields planted of corn and soybean because President Trump kept touting imminent trade deal in the press. What the farmers didn't realize is that there was no trade deal at the time, and the impending trade deal comments were only to boost the stock market. What this created was massive misguidance by the government that has led to shocking oversupplied conditions.

According to new U.S. government data published last week, there are more than 40 million pounds of pork bellies in cold storage facilities across the U.S. The levels are so high that some cold storage facilities could run out of space. The last time storage facilities saw this much pork belly was 1971.
Hog producers, listening to every trade headlines from the Trump administration, quickly expanded herds through spring and summer with the anticipation of an imminent trade deal with China. U.S. herd levels rose to 7.7 million heads as of Sept. 1, a level not seen since 1943. (I think that is a typo, as it should be more like 77million heads.)


While the massive overhang of pork bellies could be short-lived due to the anticipation of a "Phase 1" trade deal could be signed imminently between the U.S. and China, the lesson to be seen is that fake trade news has consequences, such as disrupting free markets and creating imbalances.

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I asked a former pig farmer a few questions about pigs and industrial pig production. What I learned was that the average sow these days on industrial pig farms have about 30 piglets a year. It takes about 9 months from birth before a female pig is ready to be inseminated. In other words a production can quickly pick up again, also in China. As long as the disease is not eradicated in China and no effective way to stop it from happening again has been found, then the incentive for Chinese hog farmers to start anew is dampened.
 

anka

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The 2019 season in the US from AccuWeather (emphasis mine).

It does seem that for the most part farmers will just make it this year. At the same time it could be the last warning.
I am writing an original article for our website and when looking back over this year's events, mainly volcanic activity pushing aerosols into stratosphere (not leaving out the unaccountable amount of meteor dust), it does not bode well for the coming winter and the following year. A lot of anomalous precipitation, snow / rain / crazy hail all alike should be expected, imho.

Weather caused entire season to shift, resulted in ‘most challenging year’ for farmers
Updated Dec. 4, 2019

The story of the weather’s impact on the 2019 growing season and crop production in the United States is not a mystery. Early excessive rain and the resultant flooding caused delays and put fields under water throughout much of the planting season, leaving farmers playing catch-up.

“The whole season was shifted,” said AccuWeather Founder and CEO Dr. Joel N. Myers. “For most places, planting started late because of the floods and the excessive rain, and because it was late, at the end the yields were reduced because it was a shorter season. Of course, when you have to wait longer to harvest, you’re running into snow and into freezing temperatures that will kill any further growth.

Even the government had to push its deadlines. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) last Crop Progress report was scheduled to be issued Nov. 25, but the report noted “due to delays in harvest progress, the weekly National Crop Progress report will be extended. The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will evaluate harvest progress for all crops each week to determine how long to continue the report.”

It’s kind of been a domino effect the whole year,” Krista Swanson, an Oneida, Illinois, farmer, told AccuWeather. “It started out with excessive moisture in the spring that kind of pushed us back and now we’re trying to harvest in mid-November in the snow. It’s just been a challenge all around ... It seems like this year just keeps throwing curveballs at us with the weather.

...

AccuWeather’s predicted production for soybeans was 4.001 billion bushels on May 30; its final estimate on Dec. 2 is 3.572 billion bushels, a decrease of 10.7 percent.

The USDA’s predicted soybean production was 4.150 billion bushels on May 10; its most recent estimate on Nov. 8 was 3.550 billion bushels, a decrease of 14.4 percent.

Corn production was 14.420 billion bushels in 2018; 2019 could be the lowest since 2015 (13.601 billion bushels) or 2012 (10.755 billion bushels), depending on the final total. Soybean production was 4.543 billion bushels in 2018; 2019 could be the lowest since 2013 (3.357 billion bushels). The NASS Annual Crop Production Summary for 2019 will be issued Jan. 10, 2020.

The latest USDA Crop Progress report shows the 2019 corn harvest in 18 key corn-producing states is still behind the five-year average from 2014-2018 of 98 percent, with just 89 percent harvested so far. The 2019 soybean harvest is almost complete, with 96 percent harvested in 18 key soybean-producing states compared to the national five-year average of 99 percent.

AccuWeather meteorologists are forecasting mostly dry and milder weather the rest of the week across the northern Plains and Upper Midwest. Snowcovered fields have delayed the harvest in some areas. Areas from Michigan through Wisconsin, Minnesota and the Dakotas are behind normal for the corn harvest. However, this weather pattern should favor harvest efforts, according to AccuWeather meteorologists. It will turn colder again early next week with light to moderate snowfall of 2 to 4 inches over the northwestern corner of the Midwest corn and soybean belt.

This has been the most challenging year in my farming career of about 30 years,” Billie Danner, a farmer in West Liberty, Iowa, told AccuWeather.
 

angelburst29

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Desert locusts are destroying tens of thousands of hectares of crops and grazing land in Somalia in the worst invasion in 25 years, the United Nations food agency said on Wednesday, and the infestation is likely to spread further.

Somalia hit by worst desert locust invasion in 25 years
FILE PHOTO: A desert locust feeds on crops in Laghouat, Algeria, July 29, 2004. Picture taken July 29, 2004.    REUTERS/Louafi Larbi/File Photo

Locust invasion threatens Somali farmers with starvation

Somali farmers on Saturday urged their government and the international community to help protect their crops from an invasion of locusts that is leaving many unable to feed their families.
 

Aeneas

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This post will be more about pigs, swine fever, prices etc.
First a chart of world market prices on pigs for the last 10 years to give an idea about how badly the African Swine fever (ASF) has affected prices:

A graph for the last 5 years:

So while some countries, not least China have been very strongly affected and lost half of the herd, then the world market prices have not exploded to something completely out of the ordinary. The 4 years from roughly 2011 through to 2015, prices were actually higher.

And while some pig producers in China have lost everything, then those who have not been touched by the swine fever have had golden times, though it is also clear that they have taken all precautions to not get the fever.

With wholesale pork prices more than doubling in 2019 due to a deadly epidemic of African swine fever, a handful of Chinese pork peddlers are bringing home the bacon ham over fist, according to Bloomberg.

China's top hog-hawker of late is Muyuan Foodstuff chairman Qin Yinglin, whose net worth has more than quadrupled this year to $8.6 billion thanks to his 60% stake in the company - making him the fastest growing individual on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Forbes has pegged Qin's net worth at $16.6 billion. He holds the shares directly and with his wife through Muyuan Industrial Group.

After graduating from Henan Agricultural University with a degree in animal husbandry, Qin launched a hog breeding company with just 22 pigs - and now slaughters roughly 5 million per year as one of China's premiere meat mavens.

Muyuan's profit soard 260% in Q3 vs. the same period in 2018, due to the deaths of millions of pigs (some at the hands of criminal meat schemers) which caused the country's pig herd to collapse 41% YoY, sending prices skyrocketing.

https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/ELpZiz2VAAI3_oG_0_0.jpg?itok=eD6CDaMV
https://www.zerohedge.com/s3/files/inline-images/ELpZiz2VAAI3_oG_0_0.jpg?itok=eD6CDaMV
Here is some of the things they did to avoid disease:
In order to avoid swine fever, for which there is no approved vaccine but doesn't affect human health, Muyuan has been sterilizing animal feed with heat, filtering the air inside of their facilities, and disinfecting trucks, Qin told the South China Morning Post in March.

"Some companies are very much in difficulty because they are unable to reproduce their hog herd," according to Fitch analyst Li Chen, "But some companies are seeing great profitability."

Other pork profiteers include WH Group - the world's largest pork producer, as well as pig breeder and animal-feed company New Hope Group - whose Chairman, Liu Yonghao, has seen his net worth balloon to $11 billion - nearly double what it was at the end of 2018.

"Swine fever brings both benefit and harm," Qin told SCMP. "We need to ride this violent hurricane out and turn it into a superb opportunity for our development."

As we noted in July, the rise in pork comes as prices for other meats - particularly chicken and duck - have risen substantially, as consumers turn to alternate proteins.

[...]
As this is a major crisis in the pork industry in China, intensive research is also being done to find ways to combat it. Here is new approach which is being trialed.

China is the world's top producer and consumer of pork. So when 50% of its pig herd was wiped out in 2019 from African Swine Fever (ASF), it caused pork prices in the back half of the year to hyperinflate. The immediate response by the government was to consolidate pig farms and release pork from its strategic reserves. Other measures included sourcing pork from South American countries, like Brazil and Argentina, along with reestablishing trade with the US in the last several weeks.

Now the Chinese government is working to limit the spread of ASF through a high-voltage electricity experiment installed in pig barns, reported South China Morning Post (SCMP).



The new device will be installed at a medium-sized hog farm in Chengdu, in one of China's top pig producing regions.

The goal of the test is to see whether an electric field around a barn can limit the transmission of deadly viruses.

Professor Liu Binjiang, a government scientist in northeastern China, is responsible for the "electro culture" program that has already been a huge success for increasing crop yields and reducing plant viruses.

Binjiang and his team are creating a static electric field of 50 kilovolts around a barn that holds thousands of pigs.

He believes the high-voltage discharges will break down chemicals, reduce biological aerosol by 50-90%, kill germs, and stop the spread of viruses that are transmitted through the air.

"The air quality [for the pigs] should improve when the device is powered up," Binjiang said. "Electricity is one of the many ways to improve living conditions for farm animals. We have a long to-do list."
Binjiang claims that high-voltage electricity was used to create an electric field around a barn in the Hubei province, one of the hardest-hit ASF areas; he claims that none of the pigs died from the virus.

"It had been deployed to enhance animal welfare and prevent airborne diseases such as foot and mouth, but the lack of African swine fever cases was a surprise. It led the team to hypothesize that the electric field had caused a change in the environment that prevented the virus thriving," SCMP noted.

Electrifying pig farms to create force fields that scrub the air of deadly viruses could be the next big breakthrough China needs to restrict the spread of ASF.
 

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In looking for information for another post, I stumbled on this bit that belongs to the post above about China and pig production. It is from an article a couple of weeks ago in Farmlead:

Here is the bit that is interesting:
In a related vein, the Chinese Ag Ministry announced that China’s pig population in November grew by 2% from the previous month, the first increase in over a year since the country stated culling animals to slow the spread of African Swine Fever. [5]. It’s related because, if the current 72% tariff on U.S. pork exports to China were removed, it’s estimated that U.S. pork exports would double, in addition to reducing America’s trade deficit with China by 6%. [6]
It will be interesting to see if China really has turned the corner in their fight against the African Swine Fewer. It could have an effect on how keen the Chinese are for a trade deal and on what conditions.
 

Aeneas

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It is fair to say that the US has had a difficult year in farming, with late plantings due to wet and soggy conditions thus a shortened growing season followed by difficult harvest conditions. It has not been helped by the China-US trade war. So while production has been less than usual this has partly been offset in higher prices, not least in those states or areas where conditions were better. Pork prices have also been good to US farmers who haven't had problems with the African Swine Fever. So in that light the following article may make more sense:

Contrary To Conventional Wisdom, US Farmers Are Having Their Best Year Since 2013
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by Tyler Durden
Mon, 12/09/2019 - 22:40


Skimming through the mainstream media websites, one would find numerous articles decrying the plight of US farmers caught in the middle of the US-China trade war, such as these: "Farmers’ Despair Pushes States to Act", "Farm Bankruptcies Rise Again", "Amid Trump Tariffs, Farm Bankruptcies And Suicides Rise." However, there may be more here than meets the conventional eye.
As Commodore Research managing director Jeffrey Landsberg writes, US farm income in 2019 is on pace for the highest income seen in six Years. This, Landsberg continues, "is very significant as US farmers are not faring nearly as poorly as many pundits and media outlets continue to state. As a result, US farmers collectively have not been in any real uproar and are not jeopardizing Trump’s re-election chances."
The surging farm net income stands in stark contrast with the documented spike in bankruptcies, which has prompted some to whether this is a case of a handful of farmers pocketing the majority of the upside, or merely more farmers taking advantage of the political climate and filing bankruptcy for insurance or other tangential purposes.
We present Commodore's full note below:


Extremely noteworthy to us is that the United States Department of Agriculture recently announced that US net farm income this year will climb to its highest level since 2013. This is very significant as US farmers are not faring nearly as poorly as many pundits and media outlets continue to often report. As a result, US farmers collectively have not been in any real uproar and are not jeopardizing Trump’s re-election chances.
US net farm income this year is on pace to total $92.5 billion. This would mark a year-on-year increase of $8.5 billion (10%) and would mark the highest income since 2013’s record $123.7 billion.

Federal government direct farm program payments are contributing to a large amount of the income. Federal government direct farm program payments are expected to end this year at a very robust $22.4 billion, which is $8.7 billion (64%) more than was issued in 2018.
This includes the Market Facilitation Program payments, which is the official name for President’s Trump tariff payments that are going to farmers to make up for the weakness in exports. The $22.4 billion in federal government direct farm program payments marks a record for this decade (and includes $14.5 billion in Trump’s Market Facilitation Program payments).


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From the figures one can see that the federal subsidies were $8.7 billion higher than last year and that this figure matches the amount which the US net farm income was higher than last year ($8.5billion). In other words if the subsidies would have been the same as last year, then so would the farm income. And like the article says, Trump will not have a big problem with the US farmers come election day.

Another question is perhaps whether all the headlines of doom and gloom for US farmers has been part of an effort by the MSM to create discontent among Trump voters in the country side? While some will go bankrupt, others will consolidate and take over the other farms.
 

Aeneas

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Sometimes I am reminded of the biblical story of Joseph in Egypt, preparing in good years for the potential of bad years. This is something some countries still do and it looks again to be especially those countries who are spearheading the push for a multipolar world.

In an article I quoted above there was a mention of how China has used its strategic pork reserves to mitigate the crisis. It happens that they started this strategic pork reserve after a pig disease in 2007 which caused prices to increase by 87% and also lead to riots. How much is stored is a secret but:
China produces and consumes two-thirds of the world’s pork.

The government keeps reserves of live pigs and frozen pork to guarantee adequate supplies. Details of the frozen pork reserve are secret but industry analysts estimate its size at up to 3 to 5 million metric tons.

Industry analysts say the reserve probably is too small to have an impact on supplies in the market. The last release announced by the government was 9,600 tons in January.
Many countries used to have strategic grain reserves, which were set up after the war, but many have decided against it. The US stopped in 2008 with their strategic grain reserves:
Once upon a time, it was popular to say that the U.S. government only had enough wheat stored up to provide everyone in America with half a loaf of bread. But that is not true anymore. Recently, I discovered that the U.S. does not have any strategic grain reserves left at all. Zero. Nada. Zilch. As you will see below, the USDA liquidated the remaining reserves back in 2008. So if a major food crisis hit this country, our government would have nothing to give us. Of course the federal government could always go out and try to buy or seize food to feed the population during a major emergency, but that wouldn’t actually increase the total amount of food that was available. Instead, it would just give the government more power over who gets it.

The U.S. strategic grain reserve was initially created during the days of the Great Depression. Back then, the wisdom of storing up food for hard times was self-evident. Unfortunately, over time interest in this program faded, and at this point there is no strategic grain reserve in the United States at all. The following comes from the Los Angeles Times

The modern concept of a strategic grain reserve was first proposed in the 1930s by Wall Street legend Benjamin Graham. Graham’s idea hinged on the clever management of buffer stocks of grain to tame our daily bread’s tendencies toward boom and bust. When grain prices rose above a threshold, supplies could be increased by bringing reserves to the market — which, in turn, would dampen prices. And when the price of grain went into free-fall and farmers edged toward bankruptcy, the need to fill the depleted reserve would increase the demand for corn and wheat, which would prop up the price of grain.
Following Graham’s theory, President Franklin D. Roosevelt created a grain reserve that helped rally the price of wheat and saved American farms during the Depression. In the inflationary 1970s, the USDA revamped FDR’s program into the Farmer-Owned Grain Reserve, which encouraged farmers to store grain in government facilities by offering low-cost and even no-interest loans and reimbursement to cover the storage costs. But over the next quarter of a century the dogma of deregulated global markets came to dominate American politics, and the 1996 Freedom to Farm Act abolished our national system of holding grain in reserve.
As for all that wheat held in storage, it became part of the Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust, a food bank and global charity under the authority of the secretary of Agriculture. The stores were gradually depleted until 2008, when the USDA decided to convert all of what was left into its dollar equivalent. And so the grain that once stabilized prices for farmers, bakers and American consumers ended up as a number on a spreadsheet in the Department of Agriculture.
Of course if there are no major national emergencies of any kind and life just continues on normally for decades to come, this will not be an issue.
Norway has also gotten rid of their grain reserves and converted the grain silos into accomodation:


Perhaps this reflects the degree to which different countries pay attention to objective reality. Some prefer to believe in their own political agenda and models rather than objective reality.

I found this diagram which is taken from a report from 2018 about future of agriculture and it is illustrative:
Future food production.gif

What it shows in the future changes in food production in 2080 due to changes in precipitation and temperature. For those who have been paying attention this is not in line with what we observe. There has been greater difficulties in Canada due to colder and wetter conditions and questions are raised whether wheat can still be grown in some of the northern provinces. The diagram also shows a lot less food production in Africa and especially North Africa, but the last number of years it has been just the opposite. There has been substantially more precipitation and thus greater harvests.
Something David Dubyne highlighted in a recent video of Adapt2030:
A month of rain in hours 4x in the last 30 days and record crop yields in Norther Africa from all the additional rainfall for the 3rd year in a row.
There is also this article about the greening of the Sahara, something that started happening about 30+ years ago. Now this covers an area of 700000 km2 or a little more than the size of France.
Almost daily the
CO2 Science site brings reports on the impact of climate change on the living world. Hat-tip: Die kalte Sonne here

Recently, CO2 Science brought up a paper in Nature Communications.

Using satellite images, Venter et al. 2018 found an eight percent increase in woody vegetation in sub-Saharan Africa over the last three decades, underscoring the global "greening trend".

According to Wikipedia, the Sahara covers a vast area of some 9.2 million square kilometers. Eight percent of that translates into more than 700,000 square kilometers. That's an area that's almost as big as Germany and France combined!(not quite true as France covers by itself 640000 km2) This is profound.

In other words, it's well over 10,000 Manhattans!
This has been observed for quite some years. Here is an article from the BBC from 2009:


It could be that an increase in rainfall has caused this effect.

Farouk el-Baz, director of the Centre for Remote Sensing at Boston University, believes the Sahara is experiencing a shift from dryer to wetter conditions.

"It's not greening yet. But the desert expands and shrinks in relation to the amount of energy that is received by the Earth from the Sun, and this over many thousands of years," Mr el-Baz told the BBC World Service.

"The heating of the Earth would result in more evaporation of the oceans, in turn resulting in more rainfall."

But it might be hard to reconcile the view from satellites with the view from the ground.
sahara map
© unknown

While experts debate how global warming will affect the poorest continent, people are reacting in their own ways.

Droughts over the preceding decades have had the effect of driving nomadic people and rural farmers into the towns and cities. Such movement of people suggests weather patterns are becoming dryer and harsher.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned recently that rising global temperatures could cut West African agricultural production by up to 50% by the year 2020.

But satellite images from the last 15 years do seem to show a recovery of vegetation in the Southern Sahara, although the Sahel Belt, the semi-arid tropical savannah to the south of the desert, remains fragile.

The fragility of the Sahel may have been exacerbated by the cutting of trees, poor land management and subsequent erosion of soil.
If we are entering a mini iceage or a full blown iceage and coupled with this an increase in precipitation, which has been witnessed, then the result might be opposite of what 'experts' are predicting regarding food production. Those places in higher latitudes such as Canada and Northern Russia, Scandinavia etc. might find a diminishing food production, where as other areas such as North Africa and the Middle East might find greater production.

Russia under the stewardship of Putin has been focused on increasing food production since 2005 as mentioned in a previous post and it is bearing fruit (no pun intended) as Putin mentioned a few days ago:
Russia’s agricultural exports to hit $25 billion this year
20 Dec, 2018 12:35
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Russia’s agricultural exports to hit $25 billion this year

© Reuters / Bogdan Cristel

Farming production in Russia is booming. With record harvests during the past two years, the country’s agricultural exports are bringing in tens of billions of dollars, according to President Vladimir Putin.
“Last year, exports of agricultural products were $20 billion. This year, they will reach $25 billion,” Putin said on Thursday during his annual Q&A session. He added: “We couldn’t even imagine such figures earlier.”
Boosting competitiveness and improving infrastructure is key to increasing exports further, the Russian president said, promising the government’s support. Some 400 billion rubles ($6 billion) will be allocated for the development of infrastructure, including seaports and roads, he said.

The president noted earlier that Russian agricultural production had surged by 20 percent over the past five years. Calling the growth a “real breakthrough,” he urged domestic producers to steadily expand their presence in domestic and foreign markets.

Russia has managed to capture more than half of the global wheat market in recent years, becoming the world’s biggest exporter of grain, thanks to bumper harvests and attractive pricing. In 2016, the country became the world leader in wheat exports. Since the early 2000s, its share of the global wheat market has quadrupled.
According to Putin, Russia should be aiming to export environmentally friendly and quality products. GMO has been banned in the country since 2016. The president previously said that he wants to make Russia the world’s largest producer of GMO-free food.

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So Russia has seen the importance of food security long term and acted on it.

China has also paid attention (as has other countries) and saw that according to the US agricultural department, then China at the end of this year hold 51% of global wheat. Speaking about global wheat they write:
With global use down 1.4 million tons, world ending stocks are raised 1.2 million tons to a record 289.5 million tons. China’s 2019/20 ending stocks are raised 1.8 million tons to 147.5 million and account for 51 percent of the global total.
So some countries appear to have the foresight to use years wit good harvests to save and store for years with bad harvests, while other countries are ruled by an elite who are thinking more short term. Some countries might very well face food shortages, starvation and riots but it is not as if lessons from history were not there to be learned from or as if signs about earth changes and cycles were not abundant. Even just reading the earthchanges category on SOTT over the years would have been enough for some government agricultural planner to get up to speed ;)
 

Aeneas

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Crop Production Annual Summary Featuring Matt Bennett
I listened to the report and they said a few things
  • 8% of corn still in the fields (unprecedented)
  • Yields better than they had expected
  • the numbers from last season 2018/2019 were adjusted
  • Due to better prices forecast, they were expecting producers to plant more soy and beans. He predicted that there would be planted 10 million acres more of soybeans and also substantially more corn
  • Producers see things as if it can only go up compared to 2019 and are hedging their bets for good prices for certain crops
Looking at Farmlead, they had an article coming out just before the release of the data and they had a couple of interesting things to say about China. One was that the sow herd grew in December by 2.2% compared to the month before. So China's pig herd is slowly growing which was also noted in a previous post about November.

Another thing mentioned, was that China appears to be cancelling a plan to add 10% of ethanol to the fuel as they favour feeding people rather than virtue signalling going green. That trend could take off around the world if planetary weather disruptions continue to threaten crop production, which could mean a bye bye to ethanol production. Here is the excerpt from the article:

China Ethanol and Pork Woes
It was reported this week that China has suspended its plan to begin a nationwide blended gasoline policy that would contain 10% ethanol. [4] The main reason for this abrupt about face is that corn stocks in the country have declined considerably, in addition to less-than-ideal production. This is not only a negative for those companies who did built processing plants, but also Brazilian and American ethanol exporters who were hoping to ramp up shipments to the People’s Republic. Rumours from Beijing suggest that they want to ensure food security over cleaner gas (and a hope of a reduction in air pollution!).

The Chinese government also said this week that their sow herd grew by 2.2% in December over the previous month, a slow start to a rebuilding of the hog herd in the People’s Republic. [5] With the Lunar New Year celebrations taking place later this month, pork demand is nearing its annual high, which is probably why you saw Chinese pigs sent to slaughter in December increase by 14% month-over-month. Nonetheless, there’s still a “severe” shortage of fresh pork as the African Swine Fever virus remains imminent, especially with winter weather making washing and disinfecting more challenging.
 

c.a.

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It is said that 2025 will be the defining year of those that are ready, and those that were not.

David DuByne from Adapt2030 explains crop loss and historical context to Grand Solar Minimas. We apologize for the lack of visuals. Those attendees at LeakCon saw everything. You can too at LeakConGia2020 - 4/4/2020 - / 1:01:40




Karen Braun (Global Agriculture Columnist at Thomson Reuters. Meteorologist by training, gymnast for life. Views expressed are my own.)
Here's the summary of activity in fut+opt (disaggregated) in the week ended Jan 14 - split into 2 parts. Daily estimates of fund activity in futures only suggest the following from Jan 15-17: #Corn -11k #Soybeans -13k CBOT #wheat+5.5k Soymeal -1.5k Soyoil -9k11:09 PM · Jan 17, 2020
AgriTalk-
January 17, 2020 PM / 53:55
Chip Flory welcomes guest Clark Neighbors of BIS Commodities and Davis Michaelsen has the Friday Farm Fuel and Fertilizer Report. The AgriTalk podcast is sponsored by Syngenta.
 
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