Beef: It’s What’s for Import


by David Widmar

The cattle markets have started to feel the same downward price pressures that have weighed on nearly every commodity market. From oil to corn and soybean, “too much” production has been a common theme. And while the cattle industry was looking to rebuild the cow herd, a recent surge of beef imports has also added to the beef supply. This week’s post takes a look at how significant beef imports have been. Continue reading

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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