This post is from the report on the July 2014 Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s symposium, “Structural Transitions in Global Agriculture.” The subject is the changing dynamics of global livestock trade.
Echoing the sentiment of other agribusinesses, meat producers and processors pointed to export markets as the key to long-term success. Dhamu Thamodaran, executive vice president and chief commodity hedging officer at Smithfield Foods, explained that meat consumption in the United States has declined over the past 20 years. Assuming this pattern holds, growth is export dependent. Derrell Peel, professor of Agribusiness in the Department of Agricultural Economics at Oklahoma State University, showed that global pork exports have, in fact, increased 37 percent since 2005. Global beef exports have risen approximately 30 percent over the past decade.
Export markets may be the key for the livestock sector to sustain its recent resurgence, but export markets do not come without challenges. One challenge is competition. Thamodaran pointed out that, although the U.S. produces feed relatively inexpensively, the U.S. no longer is the best at raising hogs. Places like Poland and Romania, although they lag in other economic measures, have made dramatic improvements in hog production. Another challenge is currency exchange rates. Although some currency risk can be hedged, it adds a level of complexity and required focus to any organization wanting to expand globally.
Sustainable long-term growth for the livestock sector, therefore, is likely to depend on the strength of export markets. As echoed by agribusinesses at the symposium, Peel noted that China is perhaps the pre-eminent factor underlying the future strength of export markets. Although China is the largest pork producing country, and produces more than the rest of the top 10 producing countries combined, its imports have also grown rapidly. Peel explained that the growth in Chinese imports could quickly lead to China also becoming the largest importer of pork worldwide.
Source: Structural Transitions in Global Agriculture: A Summary of the 2014 Agricultural Symposium – By Nathan Kauffman, Assistant Vice President and Omaha Branch Executive.
This graphic reveals the daily average caloric intake of each person on the planet for rice, wheat, and corn. Forty-two percent of the human population’s daily caloric intake comes from the three cereal crops of rice, wheat, and corn.
The vast majority of rice consumption and production is in Asia. The commodity is thinly traded and California’s drought this year reduced the U.S.’s production. Overall, the world is rice secure, as most regions of the globe produce more than they consume.
To see more great graphics from “Nature” which tell the global rice story and its trade, go to: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v514/n7524_supp/full/514S50a.html
The export market is key to demand for U.S. cotton.
With the significant decline in cotton use by U.S. mills since the late 1990s, exports now account for about 75 percent of the demand for U.S. cotton, making global market developments key to the outlook for U.S. producers. The source of demand for U.S. cotton shifted with the elimination of textile and apparel import quotas that existed under the international Multifiber Arrangement—a process completed in 2005—leading to increased U.S. imports of textiles and apparel and reduced U.S. demand for raw cotton.
Since 2005, there has been significant variability in the volume of U.S. exports and in world prices, much of it attributed to developments in China, the largest global and U.S. market for cotton. Large Chinese purchases contributed to the spike in world prices in 2010/11 (August/July), while large stocks and reduced buying by China are key factors in the outlook for reduced global and U.S. exports in 2013/14.
Mill use of cotton in China has now declined for four consecutive seasons in response to government policies, with more consumption shifting to countries such as India, Pakistan, and Vietnam, who are exporting growing volumes of cotton yarn and other intermediate products to China and other markets.