Global Beef Trends: China and Brazil Grab the Spotlight

by David A. Widmar

In late March, the beef industry was rocked by a meat scandal in Brazil that created concerns about quality and safety controls. Many countries, including China, temporarily halted imports of Brazilian beef while the scale and scope of the issues were sorted out. In light of these events, it is worthwhile to step back and reflect on beef trends (as we did a few weeks ago with corn here and here). This week’s post considers the global beef trends – including consumption, production, imports, and export.

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Trends in Corn and Soybean Exports

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by David Widmar

Grain commodities have faced significant headwinds in recent months. It seems that bearish news keeps following bearish news. In addition to above-trend crop yields in the U.S. adding to already abundant inventories, the strong U.S. Dollar has made it difficult for the U.S. to compete for global export markets. In this week’s post, we’ll take a look at corn and soybean exports to evaluate current conditions

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The Dollar: Add it to Your Watch List

by David A. Widmar

Since 2011 the U.S. dollar has begun to strengthen.  Because exports are a critical component of grain demand, we decided that it would be important to look at how strength in the dollar impacts the prices that foreign buyers of U.S. grain face.

The most recent USDA WASDE projection is for exports to account for 12.9% of corn usage, 48.3% of soybean usage, and 43.8% of wheat usage. There are many different factors that influence exports. In addition to the shipping fees, port charges, fuel surcharges, tariffs, quota, and embargoes, exchange rates can play a critical role and they are sometimes hard to put in perspective.

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